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Last Update: Thursday September 23, 2021

Joe T. Garcia's, a family restaurant

The Miracle on Commerce Street...

Fort Worth:  Meet Hope Lancarte; she is a first-generation American and the matriarch of a family business. Within three generations, Joe T. Garcia's restaurant  has become a celebrated landmark, paradise on earth, "The Miracle on Commerce Street."  Hope's father came from Mexico with nothing. And today, this family has everything. 
Recognized by the James Beard Foundation in 1998 for their outstanding regional cuisine, this family restaurant, is truly a celebrated landmark in the USA.

What happens when a family works together, pulls together, and stays together for three generations? Impossible? In this episode of the show we find proof positive that it is possible. When a family coheres and works toward a common goal, miracles happen. This family has created a little paradise on earth; their Fiesta Gardens make up one square city block and are among the most beautiful outdoor seating in the country.

At its outset, their restaurant was busy. When they opened on July 4, 1935, they could seat just 16 people; today they seat over 1000. Those old country recipes from Mexico attracted crowds in the beginning. And now three generations later, the lines are always out the door.

The physical properties have been constantly improved, and the roots of this family are growing deeper and deeper into the community they love.

This is an old world recipe for success.

There are no short cuts, just hard work and long hours. Though there are many hands in the pot, in no way is this multi-level marketing. Nobody expects to get rich quick.

Here is the real heart and soul of America. Honest, hard-working, decent people. And this story can be told over and over and over again throughout America. This is the quiet revolution of small business that works.

Let us introduce you to the Joe T. Garcia family.   Joe T.'s daughter, Hope, had seven children who are all involved in sustaining the Joe T. tradition. Her oldest son, Lanny, is the CEO. And his brothers and sisters each have a role. And now all their children are starting to pick up the reins.

We have seen this time and time again; the second generation expands the locations, the product lines, and perfects the products and processes. First, we visit Hope's wholesale bakery and catering. And then, we visit with the third generation as they expand by developing new products and through distribution which, of course, now renders worldwide sales through the web.

Become an Icon

2:06 | Play Now |   People who live in Dallas drive to Fort Worth to eat at this extraordinary place.  If you make it to Joe T's Garcia's Restaurant, bring cash because plastic is not accepted.  

Pay Attention to Details

1:58 | Play Now | Hope LanCarte grew up within her family's business as has her children and their children.  Yet, Hope has been part of the growth of every element of their Miracle on Commerce Street.

The Joe T. Garcia Family

Be the Person Your Children Want to Work For

1:47 | Play Now | All of Hope LanCarte's children worked in the restaurant while they were growing up.  But, they were encouraged to pursue any type of work that fascinated them.  Her light touch won over all seven of them as you can see in this family photograph.

Treat Suppliers Like Family

2:22 | Play Now | Great meals start with fresh ingredients.  Joe T. Garcia knows this well so it coddles suppliers to guarantee that if there is only one tomato in all of Forth Worth, Texas, they will get it.  

And, although he became the CEO, Lanny LanCarte (pictured here) says you have to love sweeping the floor as much as you love to cook.

Develop New Products to Develop New Leaders

3:24 | Play Now | David LanCarte developed the salsa business so the Joe T. Garcia brand is now on grocery shelves.  Now that is near perfect timing! Today the US consumes  more salsa than ketchup!.

Start With Quality Ingredients

1:52 | Play Now | Joe LanCarte is the buyer and he tells us that at Joe T's there are no freezers.

Find Joy in Every Task

2:55 | Play Now | At Joe T's everyone is working hard to have fun.  Music adds more joy.

Test New Ideas

3:27 | Play Now | The third generation of leadership has created their own work by launching new divisions.

Keep it Simple

1:21 | Play Now | Keeping the menu simple was key to early profits.  Now Jesse LanCarte grows the business with a bakery division that sells from a retail outlet across the street from the restaurant and by selling wholesale to other Mexican restaurants and grocery stores.

Make Work Your Recreation

3:14 | Play Now | The patio with a swimming pool was added by Hope so her children could swim between shifts.  Now customers enjoy eating outside under the live oaks and surrounded by bright flowers.

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