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Someone You Should Know: Purpose of giving back

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 7:46 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A Sioux Falls man used his career in the food business to help others. Rudy Navarrete grew up in the food business. In his grandmother’s restaurant.

”My grandma was widowed at a fairly young age. So in 1970, she introduced Tex-Mex Mexican food to Sioux City Iowa. It went well enough to take care of herself and her 8 children.”

Rudy worked at Navarrete’s as a kid. He had his own catering business at 18 and eventually would partner with his dad in a restaurant. In 2018, he moved to Sioux Falls and opened his own place.”

“First year, lost quite a bit of capital, which can be expected for a restaurant. Then after the last six months, I was breaking even so I was super excited about it very optimistic, and looking forward to spring and summer because that’s always the busy time of the year.”

Then the pandemic hit, which would force him out of business.

”I wanted it to work out so bad. When I talk about it, it makes me sad because of how much I loved it. I remember coming to the building dang near every day before work just kind of touching it."

Despite the setback, that didn’t stop Rudy from moving on. In August, he started a catering business. This was his weekly stop at the Landsmeer Golf Course in Orange City, Iowa.

”You get a good meal for a good price, you like it? Yeah, especially in the Dutch community” said Glenn Baker.

And through all of the ups and downs, Rudy always made it a priority to give to others through various fundraisers with his business. That’s because of what he remembers that others did for his family as a young kid.

”So we had WIT, welfare, low-income housing, free lunches you name it. Turkeys delivered to us during Thanksgiving. Just people being kind, Christmas presents you know,” said Rudy.

He says that planted a seed in him to want to help others. Through his business, he’s raised thousands of dollars for various organizations and causes. The Boys and Girls Club and Lifescape are two of his big ones. Many times donating 100 percent of the profits from a job.

”I’ve always for the most part lived within my means. I don’t need a brand new car or a big house or anything like that. So once I got there, I just wanted to help bring people up where I’m at, you know what I mean. So I started looking into ways to give back, and it just snowballed into this awesome beautiful thing just seeing blessings everywhere.”

He hopes to have a food truck and another restaurant someday. And some things will never change.

”To me, it’s my purpose is to help others and give back and be a part of the community, wherever I’m at.”

Rudy said since the pandemic began, he’s had four big fundraisers which have raised more than $6,000.

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