(June 21, 2017) -- Meet Ceasar Zepeda ’03. This UTSA alumnus is living his dream of creating a spot for people to enjoy good food and drinks in San Antonio.
Zepeda, the owner and operator of Sangria on the Burg, said his love for food started young, while he was growing up in the small Texas town of Banquete. The little town has less than 800 people and is located just 23 miles west of Corpus Christi.
In 1999, Zepeda enrolled in the UTSA College of Business with the goal of opening up his own restaurant one day.
“The idea for my restaurant, Sangria on the Burg, was in the works the whole time while I was attending UTSA,” said Zepeda.
While taking business courses, Zepeda bartended and worked at local restaurants. Zepeda says he’s glad he got a taste of the food industry through these different jobs during his time as a Roadrunner.
With the knowledge he gained from his course work and work experience, he was able to pick up tips on how to succeed in business. At UTSA, he developed his entrepreneurial skills and learned business management techniques from top-tier faculty. Zepeda also said the courses he took in the UTSA Department of Communication have been useful during his career because good communicators are good leaders.
“It’s important to study, but it’s also important to work and get to know how restaurants operate,” said Zepeda.
After graduating from UTSA in 2003 with a B.B.A. in management, Zepeda worked with several well-known chefs in San Antonio that he said helped shape who he is today. He worked at restaurants like Biga on the Banks, Rosario’s, Cappy’s on Broadway and Ácenar.
Most recently, Zepeda worked as a general manager at La Fonda on Main before embarking on his business venture to open Sangria on the Burg.
“I closed a restaurant, opened one and they were all good experiences,” said Zepeda. “I really learned what food and drinks San Antonio likes and how to make menus approachable.”
Zepeda says he was inspired to sell sangria by his friends, many of whom he met while at UTSA.
“When we got together, they would ask me to make sangria. I have experience bartending, and it was always a crowd pleaser,” said Zepeda.
He would make white and red wine sangria for his friends and knew that it was a concept he wanted to include in his restaurant.
Located in the South Texas Medical Center area, Zepeda serves craft sangria, margaritas, smoked meats, sliders, tacos and salads. He also hopes to develop new concepts that people will enjoy and had this advice to share with Roadrunners who want to start a business one day.
“Study hard and start working early,” said Zepeda. “Great people devote hours to their craft, and all that hard work definitely pays off.”
Do you know a Roadrunner who is achieving great things? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may consider your suggestion for our next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.
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