Author Archives: Ricardo Cavazos

Ricardo D. Cavazos is a journalist and business executive who has over 30 years of experience as a reporter, editor and publisher and is currently managing allied health schools in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo. Working for Freedom Communications, Cavazos served as editor of The Monitor for eight years and was publisher of The Brownsville Herald for 14 years. He also served as publisher of the Valley Morning Star for one year and launched two Spanish-language publications - El Nuevo Heraldo and El Extra. He is an Edinburg native currrently living in Harlingen.

A No-frills Path to Fitness

Hardknox owner Rodney McClanahan transformed his father’s auto garage into a no-frills fitness gym. (VBR)

Some of Rodney McClanahan’s best days as a youth were spent at a mechanic’s shop in west Brownsville on the Military Highway. It was from the ages of 5 through 12 that McClanahan shadowed his father, whom he described as being a “big buff dude,” as his dad repaired and tinkered with cars at Rodney’s Garage. The big Rodney would introduce his namesake to another passion – lifting weights –…

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Pressing for a Healthy Diet

Maribeny Jenis Otero’s fight against cancer led her to develop healthy products she markets at B.veggie. (Courtesy)

Maribeny Jenis Otero took a setback in her life and turned it into an opportunity to help others improve their health. Jenis is a cancer survivor and overcoming the disease meant changing her diet with an emphasis on plant-based nutrition. It would also lead her to create healthy juices she used to boost her health. When family and friends got a taste of her homemade beverages, they encouraged her to…

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Mesquite Delivers Flavor

Victoria Cappadona harvests mesquite beans from South Texas ranches to make Cappadona Ranch products. (Courtesy)

Looking out over drought-parched ranchlands in 2012, Victoria Cappadona noticed one native type of vegetation holding forth, keeping its green amidst the dryness. It was the mesquite, the indestructible and ubiquitous South Texas tree with its golden string of bean pods hanging down like ribbons. Cappadona, a McAllen native now living in the Linn-San Manuel ranch country of northern Hidalgo County, remarked to her father-in-law about the tenacity of the…

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Nutty Venture Cracks Through

Nuts and Cows owner Elizabeth Davis with products she pitched in the H-E-B Quest for Texas Best competition. (Courtesy)

Standing at H-E-B’s corporate headquarters in San Antonio, and going head-to-head with some of the top entrepreneurs in Texas, Elizabeth Davis was undeterred. The Reynosa native and former maquiladora worker started her Nuts and Cows business just three years ago with $89 and a belief that “success can come out of a crisis.” Davis spoke English sporadically growing up as a child of the border, but with a grit and…

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Valley Roots Bind Brewers

_Rice: Mission native and Army veteran George Rice is one of the founders of 5X5 Brewery. (VBR)

The 5X5 Brewing Co. of Mission touts itself as being “Battle Born, Texas Made.” On both counts, the fledging beer production and distribution company fits the bill. Four of its five owners have a military background, and its original three founders are all hometown Mission boys who grew up together. “We all have an attachment to the community,” said George Rice, a veteran of the U.S. Army, who recalls as…

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Turning Vision into Success

Frank and Haydee Del Angel have built a successful business constructing high-end homes. (VBR)

Frank Del Angel started out with the aspiration to be an accountant. Working his way through college at then-Pan American University, the Harlingen native discovered via a job at a downtown McAllen men’s clothing store that he a talent for another skill – sales. He would parlay that ability to join a major homebuilder. It would lay the foundation for future success. Del Angel got a job with U.S. Homes…

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Downhome Goodness Served Here

Longhorn owners Lisa and Bill Turner have found success with a downhome atmosphere and good food. (VBR)

It’s hard to believe now in seeing the robust business and overflowing lunch crowds at the Longhorn Cattle Company Barbeque & Steak Company, but at one point the San Benito restaurant was starving for business. “We put up a sign by the expressway that said, ‘Come and eat with us before we both starve,’” said Lisa Turner, who with her husband Bill, own and operate one of the more popular…

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History Echoes in Edinburg

A wedding reception in full swing at the historic Echo Hotel in Edinburg. (Courtesy)

The windows that wrap around Stephen Reynolds’ office at the Echo Hotel look out into a city that has grown around the nearly 60-year-old facility. “It’s one of the grand hotels of the (Rio Grande) Valley,” said Reynolds, the general manager and one of the owners of the iconic Edinburg hotel. “It was built by the citizens of Edinburg and it’s still a great facility with a lot of character.”…

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Serving Up a Family Tradition

Milano’s head chef Albert Garcia plates some of the Italian restaurant’s signature dishes. (VBR)

Angela Milano grew up in a home that room-by-room became an iconic restaurant that brought Italian food – and pizzas – to the Rio Grande Valley. Still going strong on West Pike Boulevard in Weslaco amidst farm scenery that evokes memories of a Valley of yesteryear, under a third generation of family leadership Milano’s endures, a Valley dining favorite that features family, great food and longstanding personal connections to their…

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