Spotlight: The Martin Family
“We believed in Inglewood when most people didn’t.”
For the Martin family it all started with a dream. The family had previously owned a seafood restaurant and a small market outside of Inglewood, but they wanted to invest in the city that they lived in and where they were raising a family. So, they decided to invest locally, and put their entire life savings into opening Fiesta Martin Mexican Grill on La Brea Avenue on December 20, 2009.
The entire family pitched in and worked at the restaurant. The father Esaul Martin Sr. was in the back-washing dishes, the mother Gloria was cooking in the kitchen and in charge of interior design, older son Esaul Jr. was a waiter, and younger son Christian was a host. They all kept their day jobs and helped at the restaurant. The goal was to provide the surrounding community with a sit-down establishment that provided high-quality Mexican food for families, and stop-by spot for a quick mid-day lunch. In addition, creating jobs for local residents was high on the priority list.
Opening the Fiesta Martin during the end of the recession proved to be difficult, but for the Martin family, failure was never an option. When everyone thought they would fail, they came together as a family and pushed through. They were all raised to think that if you worked hard, opportunity would always knock.
Inglewood Forward: How many employees do you currently have working at the restaurants?
Esaul Jr.: We currently have a little over 100 employees who are mostly all Inglewood residents working at the four different locations.
IF: Has the historic Forum provided you with more business? Do you see a difference for your businesses on event days?
Gerardo and Christian: Absolutely! When there’s a concert at the Forum we get so many customers dining before and after the event. With our Florence location and Antojitos Martin being less than a mile away, it is usually a packed house. We are positive that with the new stadium opening in a couple of years it will have the same effect for us and other local businesses.
IF: What does Inglewood mean to the Martin family?
Esaul and Christian: Our roots are inside of this community. We feel an obligation to give back through sponsoring events, partnering up with local organizations and projects. With a lot of people once they have “made it” they leave the communities they grew up in, but we feel the complete opposite. We believed in Inglewood when most people didn’t and in return that allowed us to do well and open three other businesses. We want to invest in our city because the whole family lives here, we continue to invest in our businesses and buying our homes here.
IF: What is in the future for the Martin Family?
Esaul Jr, Gerardo and Christian: We are looking into finding a space in the south area of Inglewood closer to LAX. Our biggest dream would be having a location in the entertainment district of the LA Football stadium. Our dad always says that once we reach that goal he will finally retire. That will be our greatest achievement.
Fiesta Martin Mexican Grill- Opened 2009
Fiesta Martin Tacos-Opened 2013
Fiesta Martin Bar and Grill- Opened 2016
Antojitos Martin-Opened 2017