Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 15, 2008
Hold the Mayo feeds the hungry and poor
Uruguay native Julio Colobrada shares his restaurant earnings with poor El Salvadoran children
PHOTO| VIRGINIA BATTISTE
Julio Colobrada shows some restaurant fare offered at Hold the Mayo Smoke House.
SPECIAL TO THE WCR
CALGARY - Julio Colobrada always wanted to be in business for himself. He always had the entrepreneurial bug.
So a year or so ago, he took over ownership and operation of Hold the Mayo Smoke House in an industrial area of southeast Calgary. His intent is to use his business to not only serve good food to people, but to help others in need.
Coming from his native Uruguay to Canada more than 30 years ago with his single parent mom and an older sister, he knows what it is like to struggle as a child and be in difficult circumstances. That, along with the birth of his own daughter who is two and a half now, has been the incentive to get involved in a fundraising project for children in El Salvador.
"I know what being without as a child is all about."
Throughout June, Colobrada is donating $2 from the sale of every pizza to support the needs of children through Compassion International in partnership with Panemeno Productions, an outreach by Heydi Panemeno of Calgary. Panemeno has direct connections with the work of Centro Desarollo Integral (CDI) where the children will be helped.
CDI stands for Centre of Integral Development and it supports poor families so children can remain with their families rather than be put into orphanages. Many parents of these children were orphaned themselves in the civil war that tore through El Salvador in the 1980s and '90s.
As of June 10, the pizza fundraiser had collected $300 for CDI.
GOD GIVES, SO HE GIVES
Helping others grew out of Colobrada's belief God is always with him and helps him. He wants to give back to others just as God has given good things to him.
He has always sensed God being a part of his life. Before getting involved in the restaurant business, Colobrada held a number of positions, including working at a remand centre, a line cook, in a grocery store, running a trucking business, operating a water truck and power washing business, and trucking in the oil patch.
"Trucking is very lonely. You travel a lot of miles alone, but I always had God beside me."
Marriage and the birth of his daughter upped his interest in spiritual matters and caused the shift from trucking to the restaurant business.
"I always liked food, and liked feeding people more than eating it. I loved the food industry and once my daughter was born, I vowed I wasn't going to drive past Red Deer.
"I wanted to be close to my baby girl. They grow up so fast and if you aren't there, you miss out on everything."
He located the Hold the Mayo Smoke House, after looking at other locations. From this small setting, which seats a couple of dozen patrons, he caters to the breakfast and lunch crowd in a dine-in, take out, delivery and catering business, all rolled into one.
Colobrada also services about 80 lunch trucks that fan out across Calgary supplying them with pizzas, lasagna and other lunch food.
GOOD FOOD, GOOD PRICES
His philosophy is to supply good food in large portions at a good price and believes that will contribute to his success. He also experiments with new projects and ideas for expanding the business.
The idea of partnering with worthy causes, like churches and sports groups to do fundraising is part of giving back to the community and God for the good things he has received.
"Everything belongs to Almighty God. A staff member was involved with the CDI and Compassion International fundraiser, and I thought I could help out."
Colobrada has several ideas for both expanding the fundraising component of his business as well as the business itself.
"My mind is always going. I want to be a company that does what others don't. If they don't deliver, we do. If they don't do things for charity, we do. If they don't do anything for the Church, we do.
"As long as it is legit and it is going to do something good to help others, we will be part of it."
Hold the Mayo is located at 1415-38 Ave. SE, Calgary. Hold the Mayo can be contacted at 403-237-9654 or online at www.holdthemayo.ca.