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Taco Tote to get a new, updated look

Taco Tote is getting a new look.

It's a staple food: Corn tortillas and meat. You fold them together to create a taco. So how then did Taco Tote turn such a basic concept into such a successful business?

Founder and CEO Pacifico Heras says he wanted to open a restaurant that showcased quality Mexican food combined with the American fast-food model of customer service.

He opened the first Taco Tote location in Ciudad Juarez back in 1988. Since then, the El Paso-based company has expanded to 23 locations in 10 cities across the U.S. and Mexico.

At a partner's meeting this week, Taco Tote unveiled a new updated look and logo for the Taco Tote brand. It also includes significant architectural changes to the storefronts and interiors.

"It's a beautiful feeling and at the same time it's scary, so you can say it's bittersweet, but attainable," said Jose Pacifico Heras, the founder's son and now a top executive with the company.

Heras said TacoTote can't rest on the success of the past 30 years. So the company is looking to the future.

"I think we can achieve really great things if we set our minds to it," he said.

The gathering this week to celebrate the company's makeover included a toast to the people who have made the company a local success story.

"Coming from humble beginnings and growing into what we've grown today I think says a lot about the people and the family," Heras said.

The local restaurant chain does more than just tacos, of course. It's famous for its self-serve salsa bar and some come for the baked potatoes.

"I like the sirloin too, but what attracts me more is the papa."

Taco Tote has built a strong following with customers who love the Mexican food and the no-nonsense approach. But Heras is hoping the company's new direction will win over a new generation of customers.

"We're not limited to Mexican," he said. "Yes, it's our roots and where we came from, but I think what defines us now is the product, the taco, and now we can put anything in a tortilla and it'll sell and hopefully people will like it."

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