GROW Loan Helps El Globo Restaurant Survive COVID-19 Shutdown

El Globo, COVID-19
El Globo Restaurant owners Oswaldo Cordova and Evangelina Abundis

Oswaldo Cordova and his wife Evangelina Abundis opened El Globo Restaurant to fill a gap in the local market and satisfy their cravings for food from home.

“We wanted to eat some real Mexican food,” Cordova said. “We couldn’t really find what we were looking for in Grand Rapids.”

The pair opened El Globo in 2004, serving authentic dishes from Jalisco, their home state in western Mexico. Their menu features items such as birria de chivo (homemade goat stew topped with lime, onions and cilantro), carne en su Jugo (small pieces of steak cooked in their juices; mixed with Mayocoba beans and crispy bacon, mixed with tomatillo sauce, avocados, cilantro, onion, and limes), Lonche de Pierna (Mexican pork leg torta, lettuce, tomato, onions, jalapenos, avocado, and Mexican cheese) and more.

Bringing joy to people through food is something the couple is passionate about.

“People will tell us about how the like the food, and how it reminds them of how their mother or grandmother made it,” Cordova said. “It is nice to hear people’s memories around the food.”

Corodva and Abundis say they love that their business allows them to help the community.

“We like helping people,” he expressed. “We like helping the community and participating in events and meeting new people.”

When measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 shutdown restaurants overnight, Cordova and Abundis found themselves in crisis.  They closed their doors for five longs weeks as expenses mounted.

“It was pretty bad,” Cordova said. “Our bills kept coming and piling up, and we couldn’t pay our employees. But we just kept going. The loan from GROW really helped.”

The couple connected with GROW and received a COVID-19 Working Capital Loan, a low-interest loan designed by the organization to provide swift assistance to borrowers impacted by the pandemic. As they prepared to re-open after five weeks, they spent twice as much on cleaning supplies, and meat prices sky-rocketed. El Globo implemented a to-go only system and equipped the customer-facing areas with Plexiglas shields.

“Our customers kept coming back,” he expressed. “It’s picking up.”

Currently, their most best-selling menu item is quesabirria, a taco with melted cheese served with succulent broth to dip the taco in or sip between bites. The dish has become widely popular as of late; Cordova says some customers return day after day to get their fix.

“People love it,” he laughed. “We do have other food, though.”

Cordova and Abundis are on course to someday open a larger space where they want to secure a liquor license to sell tequila.

“The goal is to keep getting bigger and better.”


Click here to learn more about COVID-19 recovery loans available through GROW.