Immokalee business owner keeps culture alive with Mexican restaurant in Lozano
IMMOKALEE, Florida – Lozano’s Mexican restaurant in Immokalee is more than a business for Danny Gonzalez. It is the legacy of his family.
âWe get up at 4:30 am,â Gonzalez said. âWe start to prepare our rice, our beans, our corn tortillas. We start to cook.
Gonzalez grew up in Immokalee picking the fields as a migrant worker with his family, holding jobs in Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee until he was 19.
“Until I think that agriculture [is] not the way to go, but it gave us a lot of history. How to work, âGonzalez said.
He started working for his stepfather at Lozano and eventually learned the trade and took over as the owner. Gonzalez said his passion for small businesses led him to work for the Immokalee Chamber of Commerce where he serves as president.
âThis restaurant has taught me a lot of good things,â Gonzalez said. âIt gave me opportunities. Not just for me, but for my family and my children.
Every inch of the restaurant tells a story, sharing Mexican heritage through music, decorations and authentic cuisine. Gonzalez said the hardest part is keeping the language alive.
“We have grandchildren and none of them know a word of Spanish, but my wife and I, the grandparents, teach them to speak Spanish because my children never grew up speaking Spanish”, Gonzalez said. “So we have to keep the generation on the Spaniards.”
Lozano’s celebrates 24 years of activity this winter. Gonzalez said his success stems from his roots and the land of opportunity.
âMy dad taught us to work hard,â Gonzalez said. âWorking hard pays in a different way. Business pays off in a different way. So I combined these two things and I am very grateful to my parents and in-laws for showing us how to work.