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Moctezuma's Restaurants Named 2017 SBA Seattle District Family-Owned Small Business of the Year

Moctezuma's Restaurants

SEATTLE – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 2017 Seattle District Family-Owned Small Business of the Year is Moctezuma’s Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar in Tukwila, Washington.

Founded in 1978, Moctezuma’s offers an award-winning casual dining experience paired with a tequila bar with more than 100 different tequilas.

Moctezuma’s has been recognized as King 5 Evening Magazine’s “Best of…” in 2014, 2015, and 2016; and was recently voted No. 5 out of the top 25 best Mexican restaurants in America. The company has doubled sales during the past two years, expanded to four locations since opening in 1978, and focused on employee retention and community feedback to ensure they offer the best possible Mexican dining experience.

“Family-owned businesses are an important aspect of the small business world,” SBA Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd said. “Not only do you have this fantastic story about a man who started his business in 1978 and became very successful, but now his son has taken over and continues to build upon that success. Throughout the last 30 years this family has worked together to create not just a business, but a family legacy.”

The SBA Family-Owned Small Business of the Year award – part of National Small Business Week in May – recognizes a family-owned and operated business that has been passed from one generation to another with at least a 15-year track record. The company must have demonstrated a history of success with growth in sales and profits, increased employment opportunities for family members, potential for future growth, and volunteer efforts that strengthen family-owned businesses in the community.

“We were really excited to hear we were nominated for and then won this award,” Moctezuma’s President Bernie Garcia said. “The company really is where it is today because of my whole family, and it’s always an honor for the family to be recognized for everything we have done. We are really proud of what we have built.”

Moctezuma’s has always been a family affair. The restaurant was started in 1978 by Arturo Garcia, Bernie’s father, and is jointly owned by Arturo, Bernie, Bernie’s mother, Magdalena Garcia, and Bernie’s sister, Maribel Arias. Bernie Garcia took over as president in 2005.

They have grown to four locations with hopes to open a fifth very soon. Moctezuma’s employs nearly 400 staff and regularly holds benefit events for various local organizations where a portion of the night’s profits go back to that organization.

“National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the impact small business has on our country,” Hurd said. “It’s a chance to celebrate the dedicated, hard-working small business owners who are using innovation to create jobs and make a difference in our local communities.”

A celebration honoring local SBA winners from Washington and the SBA Seattle District – which serves Washington and northern Idaho – will be May 2. Other SBA local awards that will be recognized at the celebration include Small Business Person of the Year, 8(a) Graduate of the Year, Exporter of the Year, Encore Entrepreneur, Financial Services Advocate of the Year and Small Business Advocate of the Year.

Each year since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. The SBA recognizes outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions to our nation.

This year, National Small Business Week is April 30-May 6. For more information about National Small Business Week, visit

About the SBA Seattle District Office:

The SBA Seattle District serves the state of Washington and northern Idaho with locations in Seattle and Spokane, Washington. SBA Seattle District staff provide resources and services in three areas referred to as “the three C’s” – counseling, capital and contracting. Visit for more information including resource partners, lenders, workshops, success stories and other resources to help business start, grow and succeed.

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