By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – After almost seven successful years in business, the Mexican bistro Azteka is currently looking for new ownership. Since 2012, expatriate founders Aglika Angelova and Miguel Campos have built the restaurant up to create one of the most authentic and high-quality eateries in Rio.
Having decided to move on, they are looking to sell the business to someone who shares their passion for real Mexican food made from high quality ingredients, served in a friendly environment at reasonable prices.
Angelova explains, “Azteka is an institution for Mexican food in Rio. We were the trail blazers in the niche and after six and a half years of staying persistent for constantly raising the quality of food and service, it is paying off in terms of steady clientèle, huge area of delivery (from São Conrado to Glória), and house parties.”
Especially among the American expatriates, Azteka is a beacon for those seeking the tastes of Mexican food in Rio (it is easy to underestimate how much Americans love Mexican food). Although the food and ambiance of the restaurant are a draw for all types of people in Rio looking to enjoy something different.
“Azteka is a known brand that is easy to expand on and even franchise. The personal aspect of many returning clients is also a blessing for all business owners – the first hand connection between our patrons and us is such a great experience!” Angelova shares.
The owners feel Azteka is the perfect opportunity for someone looking to invest in Rio but worried about the notorious difficulties of starting a business in Brazil, as Angelova points out, “It is with mixed feelings that we are letting go of Azteka – it is at a point where is basically runs itself, all systems are in place for efficiency and very good effort-result balance.”
All the teething pains have already been encountered by the team, she comments. “And it is our baby which we created from scratch and watched grow and had many trials and errors with it, too. This is why it is important to us to pass it onto someone who would love it as much or even more.”
Whoever takes up the business will have an exciting challenge with many opportunities for growth, as well as the personal benefits of running their own business. “Azteka became an extension of our house – we met friends there, we met people who became our friends; we trained our staff in self-management, as we don’t have a manager, and we instilled a different professional morale in them.”
Miguel Campos, a Mexican-born chef from one of Chicago’s premier French restaurants, and Angelova, a Bulgarian-born concert pianist, made the decision to relocate to Rio initially for the weather. They became part of the community of expatriates living and working in Rio, raising young children, and will be sad to leave.
Especially with a business as successful as Azteka, selling up and moving on is not something the founders have decided upon lightly. Yet Angelova explains, “New opportunities from the old continent came our way. Our extended family is mostly in Europe and the family value is high on our priority list.”
Naturally there was a period of soul-searching before the couple knew that it was the right thing to do and the right time to do it. But they are confident that the business is going to continue making people very happy, including its new owners – with Angelova concluding, “Whoever takes over this is going to have a ball!”
* This is a Sponsored article for Azteka – Burritos y Tortas.