"I feel free, but I'm going to miss all the wonderful people. You see them every day. You become family," says Trinidad Vigil. Along with her uncle, Miguel, she ran Burrito Giant at 4501 West 38th Avenue for fourteen years.
Trinidad's father started the family business as Master Chef Catering and turned it into Burrito Giant in the 1980s before eventually shutting it down. The family brought back the business in the late 2000s, and resurrected the original recipes. But now they're ready for retirement.
"I was tired. I had no life," Trinidad admits, adding that over the past few years, it's been tough to find staff, so she'd wake up every day at 3:30 a.m., cooking batches of chile. "You get exhausted. You get burnt out."
She and Miguel will soon move out of town. She already sold her home, and now the Burrito Giant building is on the market, listed for $1,750,000
While Trinidad's father started the business so that he'd have something to pass on to his kids, neither she nor Miguel have children of their own. But the Burrito Giant name may still live on.
Burrito Giant has been shuttered since August.
The Vigils' longtime friend, Marilyn Manchego-Baca, has owned A Taste of Questa
catering business since 2013; during green chile season, from August through November, she runs a roasting operation at 150 Sheridan Boulevard. She's also helped out at Burrito Giant. She's now planning to start a food truck, which she hopes to launch this spring — and she has Trinidad and Miguel's approval to use the Burrito Giant name if she chooses.
Like the Vigils, her family has roots in New Mexico, so Manchego-Baca's recipes are similar to theirs. "She can take over the torch," Trinidad says.
"It's been my dream" to open a food truck, Manchego-Baca says. "I'm grateful to be a part of this and to have their blessing. They're hard workers and amazing people."
While she's not yet made a final decision about carrying on the Burrito Giant name, she says she's excited to reach even more people once she has a truck of her own. In the meantime, customers can order ten-packs of burritos or full catering services from A Taste of Questa by calling 720-842-9626.
"Just because I left doesn't mean customers have to be without burritos," Trinidad explains, adding that she hopes Manchego-Baca will carry on the legacy and "feed the masses."