Small grocery store now seats 1,600


Baylee Bates

Joe T. Garcia’s has been growing thanks to family in the foreground of the business after 82 years of operation.

Joe T. and Jessie Garcia moved from Michoacán, Mexico to the United States and opened a mom-and-pop grocery store in 1919. They ran it out of their home in Fort Worth. The couple served lunch to employees of a nearby packinghouse.

As lunch crowds grew, the Garcia’s decided to turn their grocery store into a small restaurant.

Seven grandchildren have followed in Joe T. and Jessie’s footsteps. Joe Lancarte, named after his grandfather Joe T. Garcia, has been working in the family business since the age of 10. Lancarte is now a co-owner with his siblings.

“All the hard work we have done shows through the happiness of our customers, and that makes us happy,” said Lancarte.

After Joe T. died in 1953, his wife and daughter, Hope Lancarte, ran the restaurant. Hope ran the business for 50 years until her death in 2014.

The restaurant that once seated 16, now seats 1,600. Joe T. Garcia’s has also expanded to three large kitchens, one being the original from 1935. The restaurant is award-winning in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.