MVT Women’s History Month Celebration Continues with Profile of Debby Portillo González, Co-Owner of 2Fifty Texas BBQ

Friday March 8, 2024

Women’s History Month began Friday, March 1 and throughout the month we’ll spotlight a group of incredible female leaders for their contributions to our Mount Vernon Triangle community. Last week we paid tribute to Officer Gail Cobb—who according to research commissioned by MVT CID is believed to be the “Cobb” in Cobb Park—for her sacrifice to our city as both the first female Metropolitan Police Department officer to be killed in the line of duty and first African American female law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty in the United States.

Today we profile 2Fifty Texas BBQ co-owner Debby Portillo González on her experiences as a third-generation woman restaurant owner and manager and got her advice on breaking into the industry:

MVT CID: How did you get involved in your industry?

Debby: I was born in the restaurant business. My grandmother set up a small stand in a market in Santa Tecla, El Salvador in 1963 and that has been my family’s business ever since. I’m the third generation of women who own and manage a restaurant in my family and it didn’t hurt that I married an amazing chef!

MVT CID: Did any women inspire or assist you early in your career?

Debby: Yes. I’m very fortunate to have been brought up my a village of strong women. My aunts have been very supportive throughout my life. They are both entrepreneurs, chefs, business savvy, wives and mothers and I got to learn all of that knowledge from an early age. My grandmothers and my mom have cheered me up along the way.

MVT CID: How do you think your industry could benefit from having more women in positions of leadership?

Debby: I believe women’s natural empathy translates extremely well in the restaurant business. We are dealing with men and women who work long shifts, in difficult conditions, with hardly any recognition. Being a leader is not only about the bottom line, it’s also about empowering others without taking advantage of them. Women are very good at this!

MVT CID: What advice can you offer to women looking to break into your industry?

Debby: Perseverance and patience. The food industry is very competitive and full of changing rules and laws. The more research you put into it, the better outcome.

MVT CID: What is your favorite part about the Mount Vernon Triangle community?

Debby: The community part of Mount Vernon Triangle. I was raised in a city where you don’t know your neighbors or the people behind the businesses and MVT is actively trying to put the faces behind the signs out to the public and it makes me feel like I’m a part of that, a community, and I love that!

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