By Abby Stonehocker
Abram and Rosaura Morales now own four successful restaurants in Lincoln, Nebraska, but their success didn’t come from pure luck; it took a lot of learning, hard work and sacrifice to get to where they are today.
Rosaura and her family were migrant workers. They would come to the U.S. for six months and work in fields, picking whatever fruit or vegetable that was growing at the time. However, when Rosaura turned 7 her family decided to make the U.S. their permanent home. Rosaura graduated from high school, but she was not able to afford college.
Abram came to U.S. with his cousin when he was 17. Abram received an education in Mexico up until middle school. When Abram came to U.S., his brother, Guillermo Haro, was already in Lincoln and was starting his own restaurant. This was an opportunity Abram couldn’t turn down.
A few years down the road, Abram and Rosaura met in California and began their journey.
The couple co-own Las Margaritas, Mazatlan, Mazatlan II and El Toro.
“Owning one business is hard enough, but owning four businesses comes with a lot of stress,” Rosaura said.
The Morales have ran into a number of stressors over the years. In April 2015 they were owners of five restaurant until La Mexicana burned down along with three other businesses in a downtown strip mall at 17th and P streets.
About month later, the roof of Las Margaritas caught fire after a flying luminary landed on it. Abram said he was only the roof was damaged because it could’ve been much worse.
Fires haven’t been the only thing causing stress on the Morales’ and their restaurants. In November 2018, the Morales’ restaurants were raided and 22 workers were arrested, according the Lincoln Journal Star. The couple did not want to comment on the raid.
Despite the stress and problems that come with running a business, there have been good times since the whole Morales family is involved.
Abram and Rosaura have 10 kids, and each one has had the chance to see just what mom and dad do.
Yesenia Morales, a senior at Creighton University who plans to pursue dentistry, said she was involved with the restaurants a lot when she was younger.
“I remember every Saturday my dad would pick me up and we would spend the whole day at La Mexicana,” she said. “That was my favorite childhood memory. I got to interact with people I never would’ve and it was a great experience.”
Yesenia said growing up and watching her parents taught her and her siblings valuable lessons.
“Hard work has been ingrained in my mind since day one. I don’t think people really realize the sacrifice and struggle of what it takes to run a business, especially with little education and not growing up knowing English like my parents.”
Yesenia said the family business has made her family stronger.
“I think starting these restaurants helped my family grow in every aspect and now I feel responsible to show my parents that all of their hard work paid off,” she said. “I am a first-generation college student, and now I’m pursuing a career in something that I’m passionate about. I know I have shown my parents how hard I have worked, and their stress and sacrifice will all be worth it.”