DAVID SURO PIÑERA Distilling Community Aid
Tequilas Restaurant Owner Siembra Azul Tequila President Tequila Interchange Project President
When David Suro Piñera first opened the doors to Tequilas Restaurant in 1986 in Philadelphia, few in the city were aware of what authentic Mexican dishes were. “It was a challenge,” he recalled. “People were more familiar with Tex-Mex dishes.” Even suppliers had a hard time meeting his requests. Today, Tequilas Restaurant is world famous for serving authentic cuisine, as well as offering a list of artisanal, sustainable brands of more than 95 tequilas.
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Suro Piñera’s passion for his culture and heritage has expanded with every project he has pursued. After opening Tequilas Restaurant, he returned to his hometown, Guadalajara, Mexico in 2007, to produce his own tequila, Siembra Azul (Blue Harvest). In 2010, he helped found the Tequila Interchange Project, a nonprofit that advocates for sustainable, traditional, and quality practices in the tequila industry.
Suro Piñera’s dream is to give back to his community through his business and as a champion in addressing the needs of Mexicans living in the United States. Early in his career he understood the interdependence between the restaurant industry and the immigrant community.
In 2008, he founded the Siembra Azul Foundation to empower Mexican migrant workers and U.S. Hispanics to achieve their goals. It is funded with proceeds from Siembra Azul Tequila. The foundation also supports education, health, and arts programs in the Mexican state of Puebla, particularly in the towns of San Mateo Ozolco and San Lucas Atzala, because many of the Mexicans who live and work in Philadelphia hail from that area. In addition to his businesses and foundation work, Suro Piñera serves on the boards of community-based organizations, including Friends of Farmworkers and Puentes de Salud. “It’s important to stay connected to the community,” he said. “To understand and support the challenges facing the community, I must stay involved and continue to be present in meaningful and authentic ways.”