COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In a little strip mall on the southeast side of Colorado Springs sits a tiny piece of Puerto Rico.
Inside, you’ll find owners Guillo and Ester Beauchamp, whose story is as rich as the native flavors they’re serving up.
Many big dreams start with a small idea.
“I want people to know what the real flavors of my island are,” said Guillo.
His hunger is for making others full.
“When they walk in, when they open up that door, I want them to smell the food, of good produce, good meats, not much preservatives, and stuff like that, it’s like real food,” said Guillo.
This Boricua says tripletas, which are Puerto Rican sandwiches packed with three different meats, are street foods.
“But to Puerto Ricans, it’s more than that. For Puerto Ricans, it’d be like a flight back home or a flight to your childhood,” said Guillo.
Guillo started working in restaurants part-time at the age of 18. At age 30, he went to culinary school.
Guillo left his island life in 2016, to help out his sister whose husband was on deployment at the time, landlocking himself in Colorado Springs.
He landed a job with The Antlers Hotel, working in several of its kitchens and eventually Cheyenne Mountain Resort, but found himself needing to make a little more money on the side.
“I used to sell these out of the trunk of my car and that’s how everything started,” he said.
He started making tripletas at home, selling to just friends at first, until word got out.
“After that, I just got banged with like more than 210 sandwiches in one day,” said Guillo.
Now he sells about 90 tripletas every single day, plus a full menu of Puerto Rican native cuisine at Don Guillo, which he and his wife Ester opened in May.
“She has that little touch which sometimes I need,” said Guillo.
Alongside the love of his life, Guillo is putting a little love from Puerto Rico in every bite.
“I tend to like to look at my customers to see the reaction when they eat. It’s joyful to see somebody bite into the sandwich and look at you,” said Guillo.