We had the good fortune of connecting with Ivan Lucas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ivan, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe risk is primordial, risk is at every corner. Risk takes a life of its own in my day to day and throughout my life and my career.
In my personal life, I first interacted with risk though my first-born daughter Natalia. I was a kid at the time, no older than 19 years old, and boy did I feel scared, however I was part in the conception of a beautiful human being! It was a risk becoming a young father, none the less, I embraced the risk and responsibility that came with her birth and would not change it for the world, she has helped me become a better human being!
Through becoming a father, I realized we needed a house to call a home; also at a young age I acquired a mortgage loan took that huge risk. After a few years and a second mortgage, I loss both homes, however, I learned valuable lessons through taking those risks.
In my career, I was a busser in my field of work, when the opportunity arose to move up in the latter and become a server, I was frightened! My wife Juana was my pillar, motivator, and courage! She assisted me to take the risk and get out of my comfort zone! It was one of the most important risks I took in my career, after taking this opportunity more opportunities came my way.
My promotions came every six months to different job roles and compensations. Leading towards consulting for restaurants and finally open my own restaurant! my own business! The American Dream! Twenty-five plus years in the making!
I believe that without risk there truly is not a reward, the ethical right risks will surely reap fruitful rewards! Risk plus Hard work I believe is an equation that really does pay off!
What should our readers know about your business?
Madera Kitchen of Mexico has been one of the biggest challenges in my life thus far. We are a Mexican cuisine eatery, one of the aspects that sets us apart is the fact that we do not focus on one region but rather as many as allowable by certain restraints, we focus on hospitality, quality and family oriented business operations.
It has been a lot, and I mean a lot of work, both physical and psychological, nothing really prepares one for such a project with low to almost non existing budget.
Lack of resources have been challenging, not just the economic but also the lack of knowledge in certain roles. Most restaurants are opened by chefs, as the heart of a restaurant is the kitchen.
The challenges aren’t over yet, however, we have overcome the first few that were set in front of us right off the bat, such as finding a great cook with chef potential, another is acquiring loans to feed the monstrous baby that a restaurant tends to be; restaurants demand and require a vast amount of capital before it can give any returns if it ever does.
I want the world to know that we are not just a business, but rather, a stepping stone in assisting the community and eventually the world, I believe that with growth we can become a resource for our community and world by giving back in any possible way to better assist one another, we want to feed more their our bodies, we want to help feed our souls.
We want to share with the world that ethnical cuisine is more than just basics but rather culinary, visionary and delicate delights.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am an immensely proud individual, I would take them to my favorite places! The places that I have worked at, the places that have taught me most of what I know today., places that offer quality of hospitality, and delicious food! Azuki Sushi in San Diego, Small Barn in Temecula, Craftsman Tavern in Encinitas, Vigilucci’s in Carlsbad, Madera kitchen of Mexico!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Understandably, any one individual’s success is not solely theirs, meaning it takes others to truly learn, grow and achieve goals and dreams! In my personal and business path I have had many influential people to me. As I stated before, my wife Juana Lupercio and my four daughters are my pillar (Natalia, Vanessa, Valeria, and Scarlett). My mother (Petra) and father (Feliciano) who taught me work ethics!
Nestor (Business partner) for investing in this venue and believing in my dream.
Guillermo (Business partner) for investing his time in this venue and believing in my dream.
Daniel (Business partner) for investing in this venue and believing in my dream.
Shihomi and Nao San who gave me the opportunity to assist with their restaurants as a consultant.
Roberto Vigilucci who took over Roadhouse grill and employed me at Vigilucci’s for 10 plus years, him and his company gave me more than an opportunity, they shared their knowledge, and that is priceless! I only wished I had paid closer attention.
David Anichowski, who hired me at Roadhouse grill in Leucadia back in 1998, unknowingly I was a young entrepreneur.
Luis (Tuntun), he was an older brother figure, he mentored me through the initial stages of my career.
And several other individuals that taught me throughout my path.