From Dalton High to Mariscos El Cuhhhmaron owner, meet our inspiring alum Joe Martinez! Joe's love for his Mexican heritage and passion for cooking have brought the flavors of Sonora's beaches to our hometown. Keep reading to hear about his amazing journey!
Interview with Joe Martinez:
Joe: I'm Joe Martinez and I graduated from Dalton High School in 2005. I decided to open this restaurant about a year ago, so we're in our eighth week of business now. The restaurant actually started during COVID, we started selling a bit from home. It gained popularity, a year ago we started looking for a building, and finally we were able to open in March of this year, 2023.
Question: What made you want to open a restaurant?
Joe: Cooking is definitely something that has always been a part of my life. One of my uncles had a restaurant here in town. My dad has always been the one to cook at home, I've always been the one to cook at home. All the men in our family cook. We just, it was something that's come naturally and something that we really enjoy doing. I finally said to myself, I think it's time to pursue my passion, which is cooking.
Question: What is the importance of education?
Joe: The importance of education, it's definitely important. I'll say this, you know, I went to Dalton High. I didn't realize until after I graduated how important it was to have that education. Whether you choose to continue your education after high school or not, the education you get in high school is super important. It prepares you for life after high school. For example, if you do go to college, or if you don't, the number of hours you invest in studying and preparing and things like that, it prepares your mind for pressure. The pressure of the real world. The pressure of the real world is bills that have to be paid back to back, working. Let's say you own a business one day, you have to do payroll, make sure people are paid on time. Make sure you're ordering things on time. Make sure you have someone to take care of your marketing. There's a number of things that go into owning a business, but the practice that you do in school, whether it's in high school or after, it really does prepare your mind. It's like a muscle. If you go to the gym every day and work out your muscles, you run every day, you're going to be prepared to run five miles. You're going to be prepared to lift that heavy weight. But if you don't exercise your mind by reading or doing work, then you're not going to be prepared for the expectations of a business.
Question: Who are some teachers who impacted you when you were in school?
Joe: Coach Carlson. And also, Mr. Murry. Mr. Murry, I met him when I was in middle school, in junior high. And Coach Carlson is just someone who really stuck out to me. Both of those teachers really influenced me and made an impact on me.
Question: What should people order at Mariscos El Cuhhhmarón if they visit?
Joe: I'd say the fried shrimp plate is definitely, that's the go to. That or the fried shrimp taco. Our family is from Mexico, and they're from a northern state of Mexico. So we'd take trips to Puerto Peñasco Sonora, it's a coastal town. I just remember as a kid, eating that food, and always thinking back to those trips to Mexico, and the food that we've find on the beaches, it's good stuff, and so I was like, man, I really want to share this with everybody.