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Supporting the community through heritage, food

Los Magueyes opens its fifth location this time in Oconto

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January 12, 2023

OCONTO – Opening one restaurant is often considered a huge success. 

Julio Herrera multiplied his success five times over and said he doesn’t plan on stopping there. 

Herrera is the owner of Los Magueyes, a Mexican restaurant that opened the doors to its first location in Green Bay in 2006.
Northeast Wisconsinites can now dine at Los Magueyes at three different locations in Green Bay (1329 S. Webster Ave, 1053 Velp Ave, Suite E and 2648 S. Packerland Dr.), one in Pulaski (203 S. St. Augustine St.) and its newest location in Oconto (106 Smith Ave), which opened November 2022. 

Oconto location
Expanding to the city of nearly 5,000 people, Herrera said, has brought a ton of positive community impact.

“These people are still around – these people in Oconto,” he said. “They have to go to Marinette, like a half hour away, or Green Bay. So, for me, it was a good idea to open (a location in Oconto) so they don’t have to go to Marinette or Green Bay – they can stay (in Oconto).”

Some of the restaurant’s decor gives a nod to the city it calls home – specifically with Oconto Blue Devil – the school district’s official sports mascot – chair backs and wall art.

The furniture for the restaurant, Herrera said, was custom-made in Mexico, and also features other tie-ins to the Northeast Wisconsin area, such as Green Bay Packers and Green Bay Gamblers-themed chairs.

“It was a good idea for the community,” he said. “For people to come in and say, ‘Hey, these are our Blue Devils.’ The community feels happier, I think.”

Overall, Herrera said the general response from the community has been positive.

“People seem happy to have us,” he said. “They’re happy we’re open over there and are happy with our food choices.”

Community impact
Herrera said Los Magueyes is a member of the Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce and works with them closely to support the community – such as bringing free food to schools, police officers and the fire department.

“It’s good for us to help them, so the community can support us, too,” he said.

Pictured is owner Julio Herrera (far right) with his wife and children at the grand opening of Oconto’s Los Magueyes location in November 2022. Submitted Photo

Sammy Boucher, president of the Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber is grateful to have Los Magueyes.

“In an increasingly complicated economic reality, restaurants are a stronghold of our local community,” she said. “Los Magueyes will foster regional growth and bring its community-focused initiatives to the area for long-term benefits. Los Magueyes’ owners and staff are part of our community, providing a quality experience and opportunity for people to come together.”

And Boucher said the new restaurant brings more than delicious eats.

“For the chamber, local is so much more than a place,” she said. “The mom-and-pop restaurants that share their heritage’s flavors, ingredients and recipes make a community vibrant with diversity.”

Continued expansion
Even though the doors of the Oconto location have only been open for a few months, Herrera said he has no plans on stopping the restaurant’s expansion – and is already working toward opening a new location – in either Marinette, Shawano or Sturgeon Bay.

Herrera said the continued expansion and success throughout the years have meant a lot.

“We’re 16 years old – it’s a long time to be (in business),” he said. “And to be in the Mexican food (service industry) is hard. So, I think we do well, and we try to expand the more we can.”

Herrera said his start with the restaurant business began when he moved to the U.S.

“My first job was working in a Mexican restaurant, so that’s what I know how to do,” he said. “Which is why I decided to open (Los Magueyes).”

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