“It makes me feel like I’ve done something that has an impact and that’s what keeps me going.”
I worked for a deli while I was in college. The owner was selling it so I talked my parents into lending me the money to buy this deli. I worked it for six years; I owned it for seven. Once I moved on from that, I never left the food business and always wound up with Mexican food. I worked for a homegrown New York chain called Burritoville which was the very first burrito chain in Manhattan, before Chipotle or anything…and then I found myself just kind of fall into Dos Toros, and to see the challenge of starting a concept and growing it was really exciting.”
This all started with just growing up in California eating burritos three or four times a week. We used to go to this place called Gordo–everyone thinks it’s called Gordo’s, but it’s Gordo Taqueria. It’s right by the Cal Berkeley campus and we used to go all the time. Then I came out to the east coast for college and I remember telling my friend, ‘I’m into burritos.’ I actually said that. And he said he had a place and took me to Chipotle; I had never had it before. And then after college I was looking for a job, and saw Dos Toros addressing a real need on the East Coast.”
For Marcus Byrd and Hilary Street, Dos Toros is family. It’s a family that inspires and excites them to come into work everyday. It’s a family where no two days are the same, but in the best possible way.
Hillary loves the opportunities that Dos Toros provides, not just for herself, but for others. “I think one of my proudest moments here–and it’s not just one, it’s several, is partnering with an agency called Get Out, Stay Out. These are guys that are re-entering the workforce from jail. We do a lot where we place them in different restaurants. When you see them really succeeding and are able to be promoted, from $15/hr jobs to $18/hr all the way to salaried positions and management, it makes me feel like I’ve done something that has an impact and that’s what keeps me going.”
Marcus is inspired by the camaraderie of the work environment and the willingness that Dos Toros has to try new things. One of Dos Toros’ best known events is $1 Burrito Day upon the opening of a new storefront. “That is the event of all events,” Marcus explains, “Every time we open a new store and have a new staff with a new space, we kind of throw caution to the wind, invite everybody and their mom to come to the store, and get a burrito, or quesadilla, or two tacos for $1. So the line is insane usually, it’s a very hectic day.”
Dos Toros was founded by two brothers, Leo and Oliver Kremer who have also loved burritos ever since they were young. Since the company is a family business, they treat their employees as such. They are interactive with all levels and kinds of staff members and want their people to not only succeed in their business, but enjoy being there as well.