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Exploring the Authentic Flavors of Mexico at El Fogón

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By Rich Salas, Editorial Intern | West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce

Beautiful atmosphere, great prices, and a loving surrounding community. El Fogón, a beloved Mexican restaurant, offers an immersive experience beyond just food – it’s a celebration of culture, community, and the passion of its owners.

At the helm of El Fogón are the charismatic and dedicated co-owners, Blanca Plascencia and her husband Said, as well as their partners Marco & Carrie Romo.

Blanca, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, moved to the United States at the age of 21. Working over 18 years in the restaurant industry, she worked her way up from a busser to a manager. Blanca’s commitment to delivering genuine Mexican flavors is evident in every aspect, from the carefully selected ingredients to the daily handmade tortillas.

Blanca’s journey from her Mexican roots to becoming the proud owner of El Fogón in Des Moines, Iowa, has been a testament to her unwavering determination and the opportunities the United States has to offer. However, her aspirations extend far beyond the confines of her restaurant’s walls. As an immigrant who came to Iowa seeking better opportunities, Blanca understands the importance of representation and aspiration. She recognizes that her success story can inspire others who were once in her shoes to dream big and believe in their potential. Blanca’s journey from her Mexican roots to owning El Fogón in Des Moines reflects her determination and the opportunities the United States provides. Blanca aims to inspire others, especially young Latinos, to dream big and believe in their potential.

“So many people come to this country to seek better opportunities for their families, and that’s all I strive to do for my kids,” said Plascencia. “I want to show my daughters if their mother can do it, they can too. It is so important that our kids see themselves represented in their community.”

Blanca envisions franchising El Fogón as a means to inspire the next generation. She recognizes the power of visibility and the impact it can have on young minds. By creating a network of El Fogón franchises, she sets the stage for the next generation to witness the success stories of business owners who share their experiences, offering hope and possibilities for communities across the state.

Blanca ensures that Mexican traditions and celebrations are woven into the fabric of the community through events like Cinco de Mayo festivities and speaking engagements like Tina Talks. Blanca continues to serve the community by connecting lifestyles and fostering a deeper appreciation for Mexican cooking and culture. El Fogón stands as a testament to the power of food to unite and delight. Blanca’s passion, combined with the authentic flavors of Mexico, ensures that each visit is a memorable journey into the heart and soul of Mexican cuisine.

As Blanca steps toward realizing her dream of franchising El Fogón, she is continuing to build her culinary empire and cementing her position as a trailblazer, mentor, and symbol of hope for those who dare to dream big. Through her vision, she’s turning El Fogón into a powerful catalyst for change, one franchise at a time.

El Fogon West Des Moines Locations:

5465 Mills Civic Pkwy, Suite 101: Located in West Glen

1250 8th St: Still Open with Road Construction on 8th!

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