-Her business, Nana’s Kitchen, brings a family together and inspires a community.
Proverbs 31:25 -“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
The bible verse can be found below the Nana’s Kitchen sign at their restaurant located at 502 W. Aten Rd in Imperial, California. Faith in God and family is the driving force for them as they have overcome obstacles throughout their life and have been blessed with success and the support of their clients that enjoy their delicious menu.
The verse is what inspires Brenda Estrada and her business partners, her mom, Carmen Nuñez, and her brother, Hector Nuñez, every day to move forward and continue working to achieve their goals and growth plans. As the leader in the family business, Brenda has a vision for the future and she certainly will accomplish them.
With so many uncertainties in our world, it is so easy to be driven by fear and worry rather than faith. The safety of our homes, our children, and our loved ones can consume anyone to the point that people become too scared to take chances and are worried about what the future might hold.
Brenda, the owner of Nana’s Kitchen shares her love of fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine with her community in Imperial. A family woman with a kind heart, happily married to Alfredo Estrada, current imperial County Fire Chief, and mother of two children, that has not only accomplished her dream of opening a restaurant but also serves her community with dedication.
In addition to being a Board Member of the Imperial Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, Brenda is also an active member of the Kiwanis Club, MANA of Imperial Valley, and Spread the Love Charity.
People aren’t inspired by doing the ordinary or by meeting expectations. They’re inspired by the exertion, creativity, and sacrifice needed to exceed what they thought possible.
Brenda is all of that and, with time, she has earned the respect of many people that have been inspired by her testimony and leadership. Both the youth and women see her as the person they aspire to be one day.
Brenda believes in Service Above Self. It is acknowledging that we all are the same and giving a helping hand to others at any time, every time we can, expecting nothing in return, as it is the most elegant way to live a worthwhile life.
She has a warrior’s heart and the spirit of a servant leader. It is mental agility, fierce determination, a never say die attitude that motivates Brenda to do her best each day.
Brenda’s family has overcome setbacks and homelessness in the past. Today, they proudly run one of the most successful Mexican food places in Imperial Valley.
Nana’s Kitchen has become an integral part of the close-knit Imperial area, and their team can be seen out and about regularly at a wide variety of community events and catering engagements.
Women-owned businesses continue to be the shining light in the business world. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, female entrepreneurs generate $2.3 trillion for the American economy and employ more than 18 million people.
There are 114% more women entrepreneurs today than there were 20 years ago. For every 10 male entrepreneurs, there are 7 female entrepreneurs.
Among several customer favorites, fans of Nana’s tacos de guisado keep the cash register ringing from open to close.
Brenda Estrada and her siblings, Hector, David and Jesus, had a steady life in Mexicali, Mexico, until the death of their father. That’s when her mother, Carmen Nuñez, decided to move to Calexico where they made a new life despite the challenges they had to face.
“When I arrived in Imperial Valley that’s where my life in commerce began because my mom worked in different places and since I was little, I began to love commerce and sell so I could earn money to help her,” she said. “My mom and brother worked at restaurants and one day we decided to create our own story together as a family and we started selling tacos all over the Imperial Valley. We would make 100 tacos a day to sell and we didn’t come back home until we sold them all.”
As God opened more doors for them, the family opened their first restaurant inside a store in Imperial. And despite the success, she needed to decide whether to continue or not since she didn’t have experience running or managing a business.
“If you are a chef, no matter how good a chef you are, it’s not good cooking for yourself; the joy is in cooking for others – it’s the same with music….”
For the last five years, God has opened many doors for them and Nana’s Kitchen has become a success. They have become the people’s choice for the best burrito and catering service in the Valley.
“I love serving the community and showing that if you’re passionate about a project and fall in love with what you do, you can find success. It’s always been important for me to help my mom and brother. As a single mother, it was difficult for her to come to a country, and make it on her own. My dream was always to help her so she didn’t have to work a lot. I never imagined that a restaurant would unite us as a family. My brother is the chef and my mom brings the seasoning. This restaurant is for my mother, that’s why it’s called Nana’s Kitchen. My mom is the driving force when I get up in the morning as well as my children and husband. My dream is that my mom can have her own house and doesn’t have to work anymore. Maybe one day we can make Nana’s Kitchen into a franchise but the most important thing for me is to have women and little girls and anyone with a dream know it’s possible. Being here and sharing my success story means everything to me.”
Brenda has plans to expand and have her brand be the most recognized one in the region. As a daughter, woman, sister, mother, and wife, Brenda Estrada is the definition of what a success story is all about. She is an example of how barriers can be broken while at the same time being light for others to become a better version of themselves.