“My mother always cooked homemade meals, everything was fresh and full of flavor,” recalls Hernandez. Hernandez, the owner of Primas Mexican Grill, took those childhood memories and applied them to his restaurants, creating a warm, inviting atmosphere and food that envelopes sight, taste and smell.
“Food is always very important and something we really appreciated,” he says. “When I started working in the restaurant business, I just liked it. It’s everyone’s dream to someday own your own business, so I took the restaurant. We took an authentic root from my home in San Miguel and used our own twist of flavor and fresh ingredients to give this area something special.”
When Hernandez was 13-years-old, the family moved to the Dallas/Houston, Texas area. He continued to work in the restaurant business, putting in long hours first as a dishwasher, then as a waiter…working his way up to management. Without finishing high school and equipped with his hands-on restaurant knowledge, dedication and hard work, Hernandez and his sister would venture to Ft. Smith, Arkansas in 1987 to open their first restaurant, La Mexican Kitchen. In 1989, they would move La Mexican Kitchen to Springfield. In 1997, they would rename their restaurant “Primas,” offering a place to watch the latest games and events and spend time with friends and family.
“My heritage is very important to me,” he begins. “That family is closeness and the closeness of people. I want to create a good environment for people to work and for customers to come where we remember your name and your children.”
For Hernandez, one of the core foundations of his business is buying and serving only the freshest ingredients available. Back home in Mexico, food was never bought in bulk, but purchased in outdoor markets where it had been picked or slaughtered that morning. While he can’t offer that same freshness in Missouri, he tries by only buying the freshest ingredients available and cooking it to order.
“You have to be a little different from everyone else, beyond food. Everyone has food,” he says. “We want to offer the personal relationship to the customer. That means so much. We cook when you order it so it is always fresh.”
Welcome to Primas.
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, is a medium-sized city in Central Mexico where people believe that you work hard for what you have and they nurture their strong roots. This tight community based on family and integrity is where Martin Hernandez and his 14 brothers and sisters would take those principles far beyond the border.