Elubia's Kitchen Story
Elubia's Kitchen is a restaurant/catering business that provides delicious Latin American food. The owners are Elubia and Ruben Orozco.
It all started with a Guatemalan tamale…
Elubia is from Asuncion Mita Jutiapa, Guatemala, and she learned to cook as a young girl. After coming to the U.S. about 25 years ago, she began to sell food to family and friends in Santa Barbara.
Ruben Orozco grew up and attended school in Santa Barbara. While attending USCB, he worked at his aunt’s restaurant in Isla Vista (Lupita’s Restaurant), and after graduating, he began to work at San Marcos High School as a computer administrator.
A computer administrator in Santa Barbara gets paid with a tamale…
One day, Ruben’s co-worker Clara mentioned that she had a friend who had just bought a computer and asked if he could help her. Before Ruben could answer, Clara added that her friend is very pretty. Ruben immediately said that he would be there the same day. The friend was Elubia.
After Ruben did not charge Elubia to fix her computer, she made him a Guatemalan tamale. Ruben loved it and praised Elubia’s delicious food.
Delicious food seals the deal!
In 2004, Elubia and Ruben got married. In the following years, Elubia earned a degree in Early Child Development from SBCC. While she was working on her degree, she expanded her cooking repertoire and learned to cook other foods, including Mexican foods.
Elubia’s Kitchen goes from idea to reality…
In the past couple of years, Ruben and Elubia have been looking for an opportunity to participate in a food festival. This year, with the help of Mayos from Mayos Carniceria and Rotarians Gil Garcia and his wife Marti, Elubia and Ruben started Elubia's Kitchen during the 2019 Santa Barbara Spanish Fiestas.
At the very start of Elubia’s Kitchen, Ruben and Elubia knew that they wanted to give back to local nonprofit organizations. They found a great way to do that: each time Elubia’s Kitchen hosts a booth at a local food festival, like Old Spanish Days Fiestas in Santa Barbara, they give a percentage of their sales to nonprofit organizations in the area. Ruben and Elubia love being able to participate in helping these organizations provide invaluable services to the youth and adults in Santa Barbara.
What’s on the menu?
Elubia's Kitchen offers a selection of Latin American foods:
Mexican & Guatemalan Tamales
Tostadas de Tinga & Cueritos
Aguas Frescas: Horchata, Jamaica, Lemonade, Lemonade with Cucumber, and Mixed Fruit Drink
Everything on the menu is gluten-free and wheat-free. Elubia and Ruben decided on this menu because of Elubia’s months-long struggle to find out why she was getting sick after every meal. When they learned that she was allergic to wheat and gluten, they also learned that many people have the same food intolerance. Since this diet is delicious and healthy even for those without the food intolerance, everyone can enjoy it.
What comes next?
Ruben and Elubia, along with their children Valeria, Roberto, and Roger, live in Santa Barbara. Currently, Elubia works at Elubia's Kitchen and at Peabody Charter as an after-school teacher. Ruben works at Cottage Hospital as an IT Manager.
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