Although the strip mall where her restaurant has been located for the past 29 years will be torn down, The Original Burrito and Co. owner Margaret De La Cruz said she wouldn’t be going far.

In fact, De La Cruz said she just received the OK to move a couple hundred feet away to the newly-vacated Kentucky Fried Chicken located at 4949 E. Elliot Road, and plans to make the move as early as late January.

“We’re not planning to go anywhere,” De La Cruz said. “We’re here to please our customers and everyone else. Here in Ahwatukee we feel like it’s our home; we’ve been here so long.”

De La Cruz said the past two years have been really hard, but she never let any of her employees go.

“My employees are really good. Everybody needs to work and everybody needs their paycheck,” she said. “It’s not their fault that this is happening.”

Even in challenging economic times, The Original Burrito and Co. rarely ever raises its prices. De La Cruz said it took her 15 years before she changed them for the first time.

The restaurant opens at 6:30 a.m. to serve its breakfast burritos, most of which cost $3.15.  For lunch, burritos range from $3.50 to $4.50, with an additional $2.50 to add a side of rice and beans. Churches and students get 10 percent discounts as well.

“Everyone has to help each other right now,” De La Cruz said. “As long as I can pay my bills I don’t really look at prices.”

De La Cruz said sometimes she overhears customers talking about the value of their meal.

“It makes me feel so good. I’m giving them more than they paid for,” De La Cruz said.

The Original Burrito and Co. will be open during the holidays, and is offering its special seasonal tamales for $15 per dozen as well as catering for parties anywhere from 10 to 300 people.

“I try not to say ‘no.’ I don’t know how,” De La Cruz said. “That’s just who I am. I’ve always been that way.”

For more information, call (480) 893-3857 or visit www.burritocompany.com.

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