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New Port Richey taco business was generations in the making

Mother-daughter duo take risk during pandemic
Lily's Taco's To Go.jpg
Posted at 5:13 AM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 07:38:14-04

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — A mother-daughter duo in New Port Richey is keeping a family legacy of perseverance alive through a new business.

Lily's Taco's To Go is nestled next to a convenience store in New Port Richey along Grand Boulevard.

The quaint taco shop doesn't draw much attention to itself but inside lies the meat of the story.

Monique Wells, a first-generation Mexican, and her mother, Lily opened the business within the past year. They know all too well the sacrifices made before them to get to this point.

"My grandma came here and she was, you know, no English. She had five kids in Mexico and left them and came here by herself. Started going to school and had three jobs," Monique said.

It's that ingrained memory that helped launch the business.

Monique admits the path wasn't easy. She and her mother originally began their business with a food truck.

"I think more money went into the taco truck than we were making and it was very hard," Monique said.

They closed the food truck before they even made it to the year mark, but the urge to open a business remained.

Monique credits her grandmother's sacrifices as the drive behind her fire.

"I don't think that if she did something like that that we would think that it's possible," Monique said.

It's now months after opening and her business is thriving.

"People would come in and buy like ten meals at one time just to pay it forward and then someone else would come in and buy like four other meals," Monique said.

She said the fear is still there in terms of running a business, but so is the excitement to see what comes next.

"We are still learning. We don't know like we don't even know if we did it right. Like, we don't know if we're doing it right now," Monique said.

In keeping it all in the family, Monique's son is in the culinary program at Tarpon Springs High School with plans to become a chef.