When it comes to running a business, we often start off as a one-person show. In the beginning, it can be daunting to think of all of the different things we have to learn when we’re new to an industry. However, having confidence in our ability to learn, adjust and execute is crucial, especially during those times of trial. Johnny Perez is an example of someone who not only had confidence in himself but continuously pushed himself outside of his comfort zone in order to quickly get to where he wanted to get.
Hailing from the west coast, Johnny’s family was heavily involved in the food industry. From a young age, Johnny had a fascination for cooking at home with his mother. As he grew up, the passion solidified as he attended the culinary program at Anthis Career Center during his junior and senior year of high school where he formalized his love and started cooking foods beyond anything he had done in the past. The day after graduation, Johnny was on a plane to Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island to join their prestigious culinary program.
After receiving his associates in culinary arts, Johnny made his way back to Fort Wayne to continue his schooling here. While in school, he was itching to get back into the industry and worked several jobs until landing a position as a waiter at Bakerstreet Steakhouse where he met James Kahn, owner of the restaurant and one of his mentors. Johnny stayed with Khan, being a part of the inaugural staff when Hoppy Gnome opened and eventually becoming the executive chef at the opening of Proximo. Despite having a lot of experience and achieving so much at a young age, Johnny felt an itch he just couldn’t ignore.
After only a few months as executive chef at Proximo, Johnny took a leap of faith and bought an old truck in Indianapolis. That truck would eventually become the beginning of his entrepreneurial career, Mercadito Taqueria. Johnny had the support of his loving wife, his former boss, James, and the rest of his family. After a long and busy winter in 2018, Mercadito Taqueria launched in April of 2019. Since that time, Johnny and his family, who work with him on the food truck, have had a summer of tremendous growth.
Join us for an incredible event where Johnny will share with us his journey and how through a vast array of experiences in the restaurant industry, he was able to find the confidence to do things he’s never done before and execute well in a fast-paced, high-intensity industry. Learn how you can find success through confidence, determination, and hard work.
Food will be provided by Caliente and there will be a cash bar.