Focus 2018: Hometown

FOCUS Hometown Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 Kearney Hub Inside Leonards see Gibbon as opportunity for general store. Page 3 Bow Family Furniture owners expand their offerings. Page 6 Group overcomes obstacles to museum open. Page 8 By ERIKA PRITCHARD Hub Regional Editor LEXINGTON — Teresa and Santos Marquez of Lexington are living the Mexican dream in the middle of the American heartland. Teresa, who lived on a small farm in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, until she was 9, said everybody in her home country wants to own a bakery. “My father, when I was little, he used to say, ‘If we ever move to the city, I want to have a bakery.’ That was his dream, too,” she said. Teresa’s father, Aldolfo Aldana, never fulfilled that dream. In 1969, he was killed, and Teresa’s family moved to Nebraska City. But, years later, Teresa and her husband, Santos, made Aldana’s dream a reality. The Marquezes opened Teresa’s Tortilla Bakery in 1993 at 507 N. Lincoln St. in Lexington. For eight years the Marquezes crafted and sold their corn and wheat tortillas to locals and at surrounding grocery stores, but when Teresa became pregnant with her fourth child in 2001, they decided to sell the bakery. “This is pretty hard for me to do the dough,” Teresa said. The Marquezes then worked other jobs — Teresa at a daycare and Santos at a Kearney factory. Meanwhile, the new Teresa’s Bakery owner, Banjamin Chavez, expanded into the grocery busi- ness, while baking tortillas with industrial machines in the back of the bigger store at 107 W. Seventh St. However the Hispanic grocery store abruptly came to an end when Chavez died in 2016, and “fate,” as Teresa called it, would bring her and Santos back to the tortilla business. “You know, when we sold it, we forgot all about it. We just forgot about it,” Teresa said. “But then when he (Chavez) passed away, people wanted the fresh tortillas.” The grocery business is new to the Marquezes, Teresa said, so she and San- tos started with what they know — bak- ing tortillas — and they’re taking it slow Back to baking TERESA’S TORTILLA BAKERY owner Teresa Marquez bakes and sells wheat, corn and flour tortillas at her grocery store and bakery in Lexington. Teresa, Santos Marquez revive their tortilla bakery, grocery store Erika Pritchard, Kearney Hub JUAN RAMIREZ of Lexington looks at the spice selection at Teresa’s Tortilla Bakery in Lexington. “ ” The difference between 26 years ago and today is there’s a lot of people from a lot of different countries, a lot of different cultures. ... So everybody eats, everybody likes everything different. Teresa Marquez TERESA’S TORTILLA BAKERY owner Santos Marquez rings up a customer at the bakery and grocery store. Santos and his wife, Teresa, bought the store and bakery in late 2017. TERESA’S TORTILLA BAKERY, PAGE 7