Type of business: Mexican restaurant
Location: 6724 E. Whitmore Ave., Hughson
Hours: Monday – Wednesday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 10 a.m. 11:30 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Contact information: 209-883-0800
Specialty: Homemade tortillas
History of business:
When Agave Azul owners Sandra, Mabel and Gabriela Lujan wanted to step outside the realm of their parents’ farming business in Hughson, they knew opening a restaurant where customers could find authentic Mexican cuisine was the best road to take. Sandra and Gabriela combined their knowledge of the business world with their sister Mabel’s cooking expertise, and in 2012, Agave Azul opened its doors.
“My sisters and I wanted to venture out of my parents’ business,” said Sandra. “We wanted to have a business of our own.”
Since opening nearly five years ago, Agave Azul has provided the community of Hughson with dishes like their Agave Enchiladas, Azteca Chicken and molcajete made from fresh ingredients grown on their parents’ farm. Using homegrown vegetables and fruits, the restaurant makes every meal from scratch and even makes fresh batches of corn and flour tortillas. To set themselves apart from other Mexican food restaurants in the Valley, the sisters also serve recipes that have been passed down the Lujan family line, such as chorizo that they prepare in-house.
“It’s my grandma’s recipe,” said Sandra. “Only my sisters and I know it, so no one else makes it.”
Though it was hard to make a name for the restaurant in such a small town at first, business is booming now, said Sandra. A majority of the Agave Azul’s customers are from Hughson, but patrons often travel from surrounding communities to get a taste of their authentically-made food.
“Because it’s such a small community, everyone has been supportive over the years,” said Sandra. “Most of our customers are here in Hughson, so it’s like a big family.”
Agave Azul completed a remodel of the restaurant’s location in August, adding a full bar – a first for the eatery – and an outdoor patio which seats up to 70 people. The new additions will help with the restaurant’s catering services and event-hosting, said Sandra.
“It’s changed so much over the years,” she said. “It’s a nice, good atmosphere where everyone is super friendly.”