by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Cornelio Mendoza and his wife, Carmen, have been running Sabor Latino in Estacada for nearly a decade.Sabor Latino has been in business in Estacada for nearly a decade.

Quite an achievement for a town that struggles to keep its storefronts filled.

What is the secret to the restaurant’s success?

A lot of hard work.

Husband and wife Cornelio and Carmen Mendoza run the restaurant entirely by themselves.

They start everyday by cleaning the place and open shop at 11 a.m.

Then they keep working as long as there are people in the restaurant or bar.

Cornelio said they are working until at least midnight every day. That is a 13 hour workday.

Cornelio shrugged and explained that last year they were open every night until 2:30 a.m.

The Mendoza’s are no strangers to long work days.

The Mendoza’s were born in Mexico and came to the United States in their early teenage years.

Cornelio said that he moved to the United States from Oaxaca when he was 16 or 17 years old, all on his own.

“Somehow I ended up in Estacada,” he said.

He settled in the quiet, little town.

Sabor Latino serves Mexican cuisine with vegetarian options.

Cornelio said the fajitas and chile relleno are probably the restaurant’s most popular dishes.

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