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First News Fall 2009

The Chicken and the Taco

   Said the taco to the chicken, "Since we look so good together, I would surely like to know, where do you think we should go?" Said the chicken to the taco, "Here we are in Walsenburg, this country is beautiful and everyone is so friendly to us, we'll be happy here!"

   There's a buzz throughout the whole community! Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell are here! Nothing does a community more good than when something new pops up. Hopes are raised, hearts are lifted with pride, and expectations are heightened. But it did not happen overnight. It all began in the hearts of a young couple coming to the United States from England in 1989. With no money in their pockets, no one to help them, and with very little education, Raj Patel and his wife, Nilesha, knew that if a person was willing to work hard, you can make it in America, with the help of God and family. Raj says, "There is nothing you canít achieve in this country. No matter what you want to do, you can do it!"

   The Patels' business ventures began by purchasing a run-down convenience store in Florida. Raj, his wife, and mother, who helped with their two small boys, fixed the place up by working from 5 a.m. to midnight every day. As the business began to prosper, more improvements were made and from this humble beginning, a number of other businesses were started. Raj was also instrumental in bringing six of his friends and family members over from England, and all are doing well. The Knight's Inn west of Walsenburg was purchased with his business partners. However, the KFC/Taco Bell concept began in 2007 after he purchased the Best Western motel. Later, after much effort and research, Raj decided to merge two popular franchise restaurants - KFC and Taco Bell. The whole project was prepared, supervised and financed by Raj Patel with help from family members and partner, Kal Patel. Currently, five family members are involved in the business operations. Nothing great can be accomplished without adversity, and there were many with this project. Raj is thankful to local government officials, and other business professionals who cooperated, encouraged, and provided support for the project's success.

   Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell, together, offer a diversified menu to satisfy a wide variety of tastes. Working with each of the franchises, a floor plan and business concept was developed. Then, after the Patels spent four months in training with each franchise, they could not open unless they had 40 trained people ready to go. Thus many family members, including his wife and two sons pitched in along with some local employees to put together the starting staff. At least twelve very good employees will be moving up in the business, and Raj is looking forward to hiring and training others willing to achieve excellence. As for the future, Raj is very optimistic and sees the potential for growth in the area over the next five years. Heís already looking into some other business opportunities.

"A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do. Nothing else."

- Mohandas K. Gandhi

KFC/Taco Bell
457A U.S. Hwy. 85/87
Walsenburg, CO  81089
(719) 738-2480


Newsletter photography by Michael Babnick Photography

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