May 28, 2024
  • 4:43 pm Muleshoe celebrates Class of 2024
  • 4:42 pm ‘Anne with an E’ differs from the Anne you always knew
  • 4:42 pm Gail column: Rumbling aside, presidential candidates will once again take the debate stage
  • 4:41 pm Sinkholes, justice and mercy
  • 4:41 pm Beta Sigma Phi ends year with a road trip

Sponsor of the Week- Sergio Leal “Leal’s”

Speak the name “Leal’s” and the mind immediately goes to thoughts of wonderful Mexican food, fresh tortillas, and salsa. But, to those of us who live in Muleshoe, TX- thoughts also go to the wonderful Leal family. Jesse Leal and Irma Anzaldua both grew up in Mercedes, TX. Jesse did migrant work and followed a potato broker from the Valley to Muleshoe where he worked with Barret Produce. In 1955, Jesse married Irma and she joined him in Muleshoe.
Irma realized after being there a short time, that no one was making Mexican food or fresh tortillas. She shared her idea with Jesse to open a tortilla factory. They had save seven hundred and fifty dollars because they needed a bigger house. But instead of a larger home, Jesse and Irma spent the money on a tortilla machine. This led to the new opening of a restaurant in 1957 in Muleshoe called Leal’s!
Jesse and Irma’s family soon grew to include six children- Hector, Alma, Victor, Laura, Sergio, and Able. After a humble beginning in Muleshoe, the Leal’s opened restaurants in Muleshoe, Monahans, Littlefield, Lubbock, Plainview, and Amarillo, and two in Clovis, New Mexico. Their staff now numbers over 300. And they continue to have a tortilla factory in Muleshoe that ships not only in Texas, but Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico.
All six of the children have agreed to be a Sponsor of the Week for the Bailey County Senior Citizens Center. As thrilled as we were to hear this- it was no surprise to us. The Leal’s have always appreciated and given back to this community. Every child of the Leal’s was successful in their own right, and today we begin with Sergio Leal.
It’s been said, “the world is a stage where each is cast to play his own role.” No one knows that better than Sergio Leal. Like his brothers and sisters before him, he grew up in the family restaurant. He learned very early from his parents and older siblings that some things could be inherited, but a good reputation, trust, respect, and wages must all be earned.
Sergio admitted he had worked in the family business his entire life with the exception of one summer where he chose to go out and chop weeds and hoe cotton. He said he found out that the outdoor labor was really hard work and he decided rolling tortillas wasn’t such a bad job after all.
Sergio graduated from Muleshoe High School in 1986. He then moved to Whitesboro where he helped Victor in his restaurant there until 1991. It was there that he met his wife, Tracie, from Sherman, TX. Tracie and Sergio moved back to Muleshoe in August of 1991 and took over ownership of the tortilla factory, which they still own and operate today.
Sergio told me that he loved growing up in Muleshoe. It was here that he learned the importance of strong, close-knot family ties. He said that his mom and dad stressed to all kids that their word should have value and they should never forget their community, which so graciously accepted them and helped them get their “start”. He said he heard many times, “always be about the business of helping people.”
That can be seen every day in Sergio’s life. He has been very active in so many community events. He served on the Muleshoe ISD school board and has been a member of various service organizations. He began as a leader of prayer in service in the Anglican Church. He became deacon of this church in January of 1998 and then became an ordained priest in November of 1998. He is still serving as priest to this day.
The love for this community and its people was evident as I talked to Sergio. He recalled Mrs. Finley, his 3rd grade teacher and Mrs. Beth Skipworth his 5th grade teacher who he said both were a major influence in his life. He also told of several coaches who were good role models to him. He praised all of the employees from this area who had worked at the various Leal’s establishments. “Without their contribution and hard work, we wouldn’t have what we have today,” he said. He also praised many of his friends’ parents whom he respected and learned from. These included Jose and Dora Triana, the Vela family, the Ambriz family, the Lopez family, and the Max and Joe King families. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Sergio agrees as he credits so many friends and family who were there to help him along.
Sergio and Tracie have five children: Alyssa, Eli, Jesse, Luke and Grace. They have four grandchildren from Alyssa and Eli and is expecting his first this month!
Yes, the world is a stage where each is cast to play his own role. Sergio Leal’s role has been one of true leadership. When a leader talks, people listen. When a leader acts, people watch. What a pleasure it has been hearing you and watching you grow from a starry-eyed kid to such a respected leader. Our Bailey County Senior Center is most appreciative of the help and support you have given to our cause. We are blessed to have you in this community.



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