For the first time, the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce is honoring a Hispanic Business of the Year at its annual Awards Dinner and Gala this April. Nominated by the community, La Parilla Mexican Grill will be recognized as the inaugural winner of the award.

In May of 2023, the Hispanic Business Association merged with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce. The association was founded in 2011 by community member Sue Hubbard to assist Spanish-speaking clients in finding businesses that understand their culture. It began with five businesses and grew through networking events and community involvement. Today, it holds monthly meetings addressing Hispanic community issues on the Central Coast. Part of this merger introduced the Chamber’s new Hispanic Business of the Year award, celebrating a local Hispanic business chosen by the community for their contributions to the community. 

With La Parilla being the first to receive the honor, a high standard has been set for future Hispanic Business of the Year award winners.


After successfully opening their first location in Atascadero six years ago, cousins Edgar Valencia, Pepe Fonseco, and Lisandro Arriaga opened their second location in Arroyo Grande almost three years ago. Then this March, they opened their third location in Paso Robles on 6th Street which has been widely welcomed by the community.

“I have been doing this since I was 11 years old,” says Edgar who grew up cooking and working in his grandpa’s restaruant until he was about 19 years old.

While La Parilla isn’t Edgar’s first restaurant he has owned, this one seems to hit differently for him. He credits the restaurant’s success with the great people he surrounds himself with working at all three locations.

It works because, he says, “We all like what we do.”

When building the concept for La Parilla, Edgar and his cousins took some time to play with recipes. 

“I love food. I actually like to try different recipes, better my recipes,” says Edgar, who ensures fresh ingredients are used at their restaurants, which definitely doesn’t go unnoticed by customers. 

This year, La Parilla was also the 2024 winner of Best Tacos for Best of North County — a true testament to their work.

Not knowing about the new Hispanic Business of the Year award, Edgar and his teammates were surprised when they got the call announcing their win. Actually, they thought it might be a scam, but once it sunk in, they were grateful to be thought of by the community.

But even still, Pepe says, “I don’t think it [feels] real yet.”

Being a part of the community is what owning a business is all about to the La Parilla team. 

“It’s about that connection with people,” says Edgar.

The entire team at La Parilla are also big supporters of local youth sports. With their new Paso Robles location next to the Robbins Baseball Field, its been fun to have families come into the restaurant after practice and games. Edgar’s son plays on a team that practices on the field and so does Edgar himself. 

“As a community, I see support from the local families,” Edgar adds that families see La Parilla supporting local organizations, and the thanks is happily returned by the community.

“We try to help where we can,” added Pepe. “I think we really are community.”

Edgar explains that everything they do at La Parilla is done with teamwork. There, they are family.

He explains, “You have to want to do this … you have to love what you do.”

The family behind La Parilla have set a high standard and set an example of what fostering and supporting and celebrating community should look like.

In earning the recognition, Edgar says, “For me, anytime that I feel appreciated for what we do whether it be an award or a customer saying thank you, the food was great, thats what its all about. I feel pride in what I do.”

Learn more about La Parilla here


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