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Last Update: Tuesday April 13, 2021

Key Idea: Develop New Products to Develop New Leaders

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!.

Key Question:


Challenge the up and coming generation to create new revenue streams that are  an extension of your current products.  This is what they do at Joe T's.

A business must grow revenues as each member of the new generation joins. If this doesn't happen, the business is squeezed for profits.
Many family businesses couldn't sustain the number of family members who make a very good living from Joe T. Garcia's. The reason there is room for all seven children is that each of them has found a way to add products and services which add sales and profits to the entire enterprise.

Q:  What parts of the business have been added because the children have developed them?

A: The bakery is led by two of the brothers and has grown from a tiny take-out counter to a large eat-in restaurant across the street from the original Joe T. Garcia's. They deliver breads to nearly 100 grocery stores. They have a robust online presence. David heads the food division which distributes hot sauce to hundreds of retail stores. Jodi developed the catering and onsite party business. The newest addition is the work of Hope's grandson. He is a chef, the first in the family ever to go to culinary school, and he has a fine dining room. It is a restaurant within a restaurant and it is booked by reservation only.

Click on the question for more.

Think about it

Can you help your children find their talent then guide them to develop a product or service around that talent?

Clip from: Joe T. Garcia's, a family restaurant

Fort Worth: Recognized by the James Beard Foundation for their outstanding regional cuisine, this family restaurant is truly a celebrated landmark in the USA.

Hope LanCarte is a first-generation American and the matriarch of a family business that her father began in 1935. Within three generations, this place has become a celebrated landmark, paradise on earth, "The Miracle on Commerce"  Hope's father came from Mexico with nothing. And today, this family has everything.

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.

Joe T. Garcia's Mexican Restaurant

Jody LanCarte, Public Relations

2201 N Commerce St
Fort Worth, TX 76164 ‎ , TX 76164 ‎

Visit our web site:

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1939

Develop New Products to Develop New Leaders

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Hope's son, David, manages the food division. You make the salsa...

DAVID: Yes, we make a salsa, hot sauce.

HATTIE: sauce, that you put in jars?

DAVID: Yeah, we package it in jars, 16-ounce jars, and it comes in mild, medium and hot. And we first started back in 1989 getting it ready. And I went to Texas A&M a little bit and took some microbiology, and we formulated it through Texas A&M to make sure it was up to code and everything and everything was good. And the hot sauce we actually serve in the jars we created to be in competition with what was on the shelf. So we had to take all possibilities and factors in of what people really enjoy when everyone doctors their own hot sauce up. Because they'll eat any chip, but they'll pick their hot sauce.

HATTIE: Is that right? Will eat any chip.


HATTIE: And you know that as a fact?

DAVID: Yeah. If it's on sale, they'll eat it. We made that hot sauce up especially for the stores, and it's actually very, very good.

HATTIE: Is that based on research? You said that you're gonna compete with those other jars on the shelf.

DAVID: Research of myself and family sitting down and eating different hot sauce and things. This will work.

HATTIE: Really?


HATTIE: So all the family gets around and says, `What do we like the best?'

DAVID: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I always bring them everything that--if I come up with a recipe, I'll bring it in and say, `What do you think?' And if they have a recipe for something, they bring it in and say, `Well, what do y'all think?' And everybody says yea or nay, and we kinda go like that.

HATTIE: Jesse, you're the fifth child, right?

JESSE: Yes, I am.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Jesse runs the bakery, along with his brother Philip, who was out making sales calls.

JESSE: Yes. I was the one that didn't want anything to do with the restaurant business. I went away to boarding school, was going to be a journalist and all these fabulous dreams. And...

HATTIE: You didn't want to be in the restaurant business?

JESSE: Here I am, and I enjoy every bit of it.

HATTIE: What happened to the dreams? Did you miss the family or ...

JESSE: I missed the camaraderie, the closeness and all the things that come with being in the family business. And not that there aren't tough times, but that's what makes the good times, is the tough times, if that makes any sense.

HATTIE: Well, you know, somebody looking at this would think, `Oh, my gosh, they've been in the business since 1935. I mean, this guy doesn't know tough times.' JESSE: Oh, God. Oh, yes.

HATTIE: Now haven't you found this to be explosive growth for you? (referring to distribution of the restuarant products in retail stores).

JESSE: Oh, absolutely. The first store called us. We hadn't even really pursued it, you know...

HATTIE: You hadn't opened that market.

JESSE: No, we've been very fortunate. We have about 78 stores now, including as far -- we sell bread as far west as El Paso and as far east as Marshall, Texas ...

HATTIE: So the first store that called you, was it someone who had been in here to eat...

JESSE: A local store...

HATTIE: ...and said, `Well, those guys ought to know how to do bread'?

JESSE: ...made part of the restaurant. They knew we made some bread, and they said, `Would you try making some bread for our stores?' And we put a cabinet in there, and now it's a very lucrative part of our business.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) The bakery now has retail outlets and supplies local groceries with authentic Mexican breads. They look really sweet.

HOPE: No. These are so fluffy. If you bite in it, they just fall apart.

HATTIE: Really?

HOPE: You can't keep them in. You have to know how to eat those.

HATTIE: Flaky.

HOPE: They're very flaky.

HATTIE: You have to eat it like this.

HOPE: Right, like this. They're very, very flaky and very, very good and very, very demanding people...

HATTIE: They want them. HOPE: They do want them. And these are our biscuits.

HATTIE: These are biscuits?

HOPE: Yes.


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