In 1947, Romana Acosta Bañuelos and her husband Alejandro Bañuelos decided to start a business selling authentic Sonoran tortillas made from scratch. They had the family recipe. They had fresh ingredients. They had a desire to share their heritage through their food. So they found a space, ordered a sign, and prepared to launch. In honor of Señora Bañuelos, they would call the business Romana’s! Only when they went to put up their sign, they saw that the sign maker had put an “A” where an “O” should’ve gone and vice versa. With no spare money for a second sign, Romana’s became Ramona’s. They would have to make do.
Seventy-four years later, with their children and grandchildren steering the business, SpotOn client Ramona’s has done more than make do—it’s made good. The company has grown from a one-woman tortilla shop where Romana would get up at 2:00 a.m. to make tortillas while her young children slept to a restaurant with five locations and a line of frozen burritos sold at select grocers.
“Romana was passionate about sharing true authentic Mexican flavors with her community,” says Carlos Angulo, Chief Executive Officer at Ramona's Food Group LLC & Ramonas' Restaurant Group LLC, who came out of retirement to head up the business. “For many people, the only ‘Mexican’ food they’d tasted was really Americanized with the overwhelming use of ketchup and chili powder.”
To replicate the tastes of the Mexican food Romana grew up with, she brought in the family recipes her mom and aunts used to teach her to cook as a child.
"Seven decades later, Ramona’s is still using the same 30 key family recipes,” Angulo says. “There’s nostalgia in the continuity of quality. You can taste it in the food, and see it in our loyal customers and employees. There are people who have been customers at Ramona’s since 1962, and employees who have been with us for 20-40 years.”
In January 2022, when franchising opportunities become available, anyone who shares a love of authentic Sonoran Mexican food, and integrity for fresh ingredients can be “Ramona,” too. The company will also soon be offering online ordering through SpotOn Order, offering a much-sought-after delivery option for Ramona’s fans.
“I grew up eating Ramona’s,” Angulo muses. “A company with values like this one is pretty much the only thing that could’ve brought me out of retirement. It’s good food, but it’s also good people with good hearts and I’m proud to be a part of this chapter in the beloved restaurant’s history.”