After some time journaling and praying, Mata got an answer when his wife recovered from a heart attack and coma, he said.
“She was in the parking lot of Riverwood Middle School [in Kingwood], about to start her workday as a special needs paraprofessional,” Mata said.
She recovered, and Mata said he has been on a mission to serve the community ever since.
“I would never have prayed to be a restaurant owner,” Mata said. “Because I don’t know anything about restaurants, cooking or running a business.”
Through his church, Mata got in touch with a woman named Cecilia from Cleveland, Texas, who had been looking for work as a restaurant cook, and her son David, whom Mata hired as one of the restaurant’s managers.
Kingwood Taco Shop on Mills Branch Drive received approval to begin construction two days before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Mata said. Although the restaurant did not flood, construction was delayed, and the restaurant opened May 5, 2018.
He said the menu is just a guide, and besides tacos, the restaurant offers what Cecilia wants to make: tamales, menudo, chile rellenos, enchiladas and chicken mole.
“She makes all the dishes the way she would make [them] for her family,” Mata said. “That’s the love that brings customers back. And I want people to try new things rather than just their standard taco favorite.”
Mata said he gets a sense that Kingwood Taco Shop is successful because of its food. But he foresees it growing into something wonderful in the
“I knew I wanted to build a taco place in Kingwood, because this community supports local businesses,” Mata said. “Ours is a family affair. We want to share the love that God [has] given me, and that’s what we are all about. ... I just feel like this is what we’re supposed to do.”
Kingwood Taco Shop
2510 Mills Branch Drive, Ste. 120, Kingwood
Hours: Tue.-Fri. 7 a.m.-8 p.m.,
Sat. 7 a.m.-2 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-2 p.m., closed Monday