Mosaic Stories

    Angel Jimenez-Gutierrez

    Between his restaurant, auto detailing business, personal and professional development programs, and family, Angel Jimenez-Gutierrez is an extremely busy man who has truly made the most of his time in St. Louis. Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Angel moved to St. Louis when he was 22 and has been creating successful businesses ever since.

    Angel described his decision to move to St. Louis. “I was 22, I was fearless, and I needed a break from Mexico City. So I came here with $1,000 and with that $1,000 I purchased a car for $800. The car broke down two days later and would have cost $1,000 to fix.”

    Angel truly started from nothing when he came to St. Louis, but thankfully a friend gave him an opportunity to work at Hacienda Mexican Restaurant. He worked at Hacienda for two years in nearly every position, including busser, cook, bartender, and server, and he met his wife, Janet, in the process. Thanks to the support of the managers at Hacienda, Angel felt he had learned enough to open his own restaurant. He described this process:

    “I felt like I knew how to do it all, so my wife and I opened our first restaurant, Señor Pique, which was a tiny place where we sat 80 people. My mom moved here a month before we opened to teach us how to cook our menu. The first two months were a little hard, but after that we were very successful. We lasted three years in that location, and we were so busy that we decided we needed more space. So, we moved the restaurant one mile west to Manchester where we now seat 280 people.”

    Señor Pique is extremely successful, and Angel’s younger brother, Cesar, also came to help with the restaurant when it grew. Cesar and Angel also own The Detailing Pros St. Louis, which Cesar mostly handles. While Angel was a one-man show when he arrived in St. Louis, he found St. Louis to be very welcoming. He explained, “My personality has always been smiling and enthusiastic, so I opened myself up and was very well accepted.” Angel loves that he can experience all four seasons in St. Louis and also enjoys the peaceful and easy way of life, as compared to Mexico City.

    Angel completed the Hispanic Leadership Institute (HLI) through the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He also taught a class at the Chamber called Financial and Mindful Tools for Running a Restaurant. This class was extremely important to Angel, because he explained, “There are a lot of people who own a business but don’t have access to education because of how they came to the country. When you have a business, simple math or accounting and administration is very helpful and can make businesses much more successful.”

    Angel is now working on his next business which will be two different consulting firms providing personal and professional development. One will be focused on Hispanic business owners, helping with the financial and administrative aspects of their businesses. Angel also saw the importance of reaching the Hispanic portion of the population that came to the country without documentation. He explained, “My company is going to provide coaching for personal and professional development to this part of the population, specifically non-professional Hispanics, because I would love to help people that came to this country under the same circumstances that I did.” Angel’s other firm hopes to help young adults, as well as professionals, by developing mindful tools that can help them grow. When talking about college students and professionals, Angel said, “I commonly witnesses the implications of consistent disruptive beliefs, limiting narratives, and negative perceptions as the main source of impediments to success, as well as mindfulness at the corporate level.”

    Angel has acquired these skills through the Innerland Institute in Vancouver, where he is becoming a certified facilitator in November 2016. He is also currently a Candidate of The Institute for the Work of Byron Katie. He described his experience with Innerland: “I have been studying here for four years, with workshops in Mexico, Canada, and all over the United States. What we do with The Work of Byron Katie is to question our thoughts, especially the stressful ones and the ones that get in the way of our daily lives. I don’t give advice, but I help people go deep into their own thoughts and to look at things from different perspectives.”

    While Angel admitted that he is still learning himself, he has been very successful with his businesses and shared what has worked for him. “I have been patient while working hard and I am always open for the learning experience. My new coaching firm will share the JEDI Approach, which has to do with the art of taking criticism, including our obstacles in receiving it, as well as understanding our ego’s role. I feel that this approach will become a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. Can you imagine the ability to truly be open to learning from past experiences and suggestions from others?”

    Angel is an extremely humble and positive individual who has built an amazing life for his family in St. Louis after moving here with almost nothing. Angel was awarded the Mosaic Immigrant Food Award at the 2016 Mosaic Annual Community Event for his success with Señor Pique, and that is only one small aspect of all he has accomplished. He is excited for the future and hopes to positively impact people’s lives with his coaching firms.