Our Story

What’s the Story, Morning Glory?

Where were you in 1997? We can tell you where we were, in a small little town in Southern Utah, called St. George. Working our tail feathers off, well rather Steve and Patricia Stanley were working their tail feathers off, and BAM! The world hasn’t been the same since. The Stanley’s used inspired recipes and traditional cooking of Northern Mexico's Rio Grande, Southern Texas, and New Mexico, which loosely translates to, Muy Delicousio, and opened six locations in Utah!

In 2004, this genius idea rolled around in the head of Bob Nilsen, and his team conceived a plan to purchase the six restaurants that the Stanley’s had so lovingly created. Nilsen, took the little Rio’s and pushed them outside Utah. Took them to Arizona, and California. Montana and Wyoming. Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland and Virginia. And those six Rio’s have quickly multiplied into 80 locations, in eleven states. Not too shabby for six little Utah babies.

We’re fresh. And no, not fresh like Will Smith in Bel-Aire, we’re fresh in taste, and ingredients. Our amazing staff works feverishly with our little Mexican fairies, hand squeezing 1,000 limes a day; hand scooping more avocados than you can shake a stick at, grating enough cheese to make the Pied Piper lose control of his mice. We hand roll hundreds of tortillas a day. Every day. Made right in front of you on our super hot, amazing Comal. What’s a Comal? It’s a big round cooking surface thingy, that every one of our tortillas is cooked on. Sauces, dressing, desserts? Yep, all fresh and made daily. There aren’t any microwaves or freezers in any of our locations. Nothing is premade. We don’t have mechanized processed food. We are fresh my friend.

So now that we’ve talked about how cool we are, let’s turn the time over to someone else, and let them tell you how cool we are. We have the Zagat stamp of approval. It means we’re really good at what we do, so you should check us out. How about Sandelman and Associates? They’re a market research and consulting firm that provides foodservice companies with the consumer information they need to direct their marketing and operations efforts. That’s a fancy way of saying that the past three years, we’ve won their award for being the #1 Overall Quick Service Restaurant in the Country. It’s like winning an Oscar. Cafe Rio has won over 100 awards from groups such as Best of City Search, City Weekly, INC 500, Utah Business Magazine, Utah’s Best of State, Alfred P. Sloan Awards, and the Oxnard Salsa Festival, just to name a few.

Still want more? Ok, let’s talk Community involvement. Mr. Roger’s has nothing on us. We are good neighbors! We believe in building for the future and helping to take care of those that help take care of us. Donating to schools, Hope for the Warriors and the Military, and underprivileged kids programs are just a few of the areas we feel passionately about. We love you and we’re not afraid to show our feelings.

There you go. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it. Give us a try Amigo; we’re pretty sure you’ll like us, and if you don’t, drop us an email and tell us how we can make things better, because without you, there isn’t an us.

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