Alma Perez and her husband, Gilbert Perez, moved to Willis three years ago after living in Denver for 15 years, Alma said. Gilbert previously worked as a truck driver in Colorado and did catering on the weekends, but when he started working as a driver in Texas, Alma said the salary was not enough.

“Since he always liked cooking, he said, ‘Well, I might as well start a business,’” Alma said.

Alma said when they started looking for a storefront, she came across the Frazier Street site in Conroe and immediately wanted it. They renovated, painted and decorated the storefront before opening Taco Patron in February 2020.

It has been a family-run business from the start, Alma said, with their two daughters and one son also helping run the restaurant.

Gilbert makes all of the food, which includes tacos, burritos and burgers, fresh from his recipes, Alma said. The restaurant also offers menudo, a traditional Mexican soup, on the weekends, which Alma said she cooks from her recipe.

Alma said they source many ingredients from Mexico, including spices such as oregano and chiles de arbol. She said a lot of customers enjoy having food that tastes authentically Mexican.

Having opened right before the COVID-19 pandemic began, Alma said the Conroe restaurant had a difficult time making money at first. The taco shop started as a fast-casual eatery without a drive-thru, Alma said.

However, Alma said the eatery added a drive-thru window during the pandemic, which helped the business make ends meet. The restaurant has continued to succeed since then, Alma said, having hired three employees to help the family-run eatery.

“[The drive-thru] was the thing that started to help us,” Alma said. “The community and the people started to like our food.”

Alma said her favorite part is interacting with the customers.

“I enjoy talking with people,” she said. “There’s a lot of people that come that I don’t know, and I just start having a conversation, and we start to become friends.”

Taco Patron

1802 N. Frazier St., Conroe


Hours: Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-2 p.m.