Congratulations to Carlotta Flores who made this year’s “50 Over 50: Vision“ in Forbes Magazine! Carlotta is the visionary owner of El Charro Café in downtown Tucson. You may have heard that Tucson is a Unesco City of Gastronomy. Carlotta Flores is a big part of what makes us the best 23 miles of Mexican Food in the States.
Flores took the reins from its founder in 1972 and grew the business from a single café to multiple restaurants, over 400 employees, and a licensing and branding deal with MGM Grand in Las Vegas! That takes vision, dedication, and planning. In addition to all that Flores is an integral part of the Tucson community.
She has a pay-it-forward mindset and according to her son Ray she reminds people that “sometimes you need to give more than you get to get somewhere.” Flores has been volunteering for over 20 years in Tucson and has served on several boards. She met the woman who nominated her, Rosalie Crowe, through the University of Arizona’s Chicano/Hispanic Student Affairs & Resource Center.
Flores told the Arizona Daily Star that even though she spoke with the editor of the list, Maggie McGrath, a couple of days before the announcement she still didn’t believe it. Flores kept waiting for someone to ask for money to finalize the nomination but it never came. When the 50 over 50 news hit Tucson social media it began to sink in that the honor was actually real.
No one around Flores has any doubt that she deserves the award. In 2019 the heart of the operation, El Charro Café, was a semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Award. That award recognized exceptional talent and vision in the culinary world. She may not have won that one (even though we believe she should have,) being on the Forbes list of 50 over 50 is nothing to slouch about.
Congratulations Carlotta, you deserve all the goodness that comes your way.