The support of a community organization, hard work and the assist of PSEG-LI paid off for Eulogio Valerio and Emelia Rendon Wednesday as they celebrated the sixth-month anniversary of the opening of their restaurant, Mi Viejito Pueblito in Huntington Station.
But it was the labor of 19 years–of saving money with jobs as tree trimmer, busboy, dishwasher, Uber driver, construction worker and more, sometimes more than one job at a time–that helped his family realize their dream of opening a Mexican restaurant.
“Little by little, we were able to save,” Valerio said. “We worked real hard to open this.”
The couple leased the space at 1687 New York Ave., in 2016 but ran into difficulties making their way through town and county regulations. When they spoke with Andrea Bonilla, community liaison for Source the Station, she helped them through the process and connected them with the PSEG-LI Vacant Space Program.
That program provides bill discounts to businesses that occupy a space in a commercial district that has been vacant a year or more. The idea is support the economic vitality of a community.
“PSEG Long Island is proud to support our local communities, said John Keating, manager of economic development for PSEG Long Island. “We know the Long Island economy thrives on small businesses and starting one is a big step. That is why PSEG Long Island created programs like the Vacant Space Program.”
PSEG-LI representatives, as well as town and county officials and business organizations were on hand to celebrate the restaurant’s anniversary.
Rendon and their children, daughter, Joselin. and son, Elpidio and two other employees also work at the business with Valerio.
The restaurant, serving authentic Mexican fare, is open seven days a week and offers delivery service.
“Working to help small businesses is one of my favorite parts of what I do for the Huntington Station revitalization,” Bonilla said. “I am thankful to PSEG Long Island for its help to ensure this small business thrives.”