Grand Strand family shares journey driving from Mexico to start own business

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 6:18 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2023 at 1:15 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A family is taking a look at their journey and what brought them to where they are today: business owners in the Grand Strand.

EN ESPAÑOL | Esfuerzos tomado para una vida mejor: familia de Myrtle Beach cuenta su historia

Nelly Coleman and Salvador Gamboa moved to Myrtle Beach in 2000 and started their business, Speedy Gamboa, in Conway. They said their decision to move wasn’t easy, but it was necessary.

“There wasn’t much progress,” Coleman said. “I worked, and he worked. We had a friend who came and went, came and went. One day, he came to visit us and told us that there was a job opportunity here.”

From their town of Veracruz, Mexico, their family drove 40 hours to the United States until they had to take a flight to get to the Grand Strand.

Coleman said it was a painful decision to leave her family, but knew she and her husband had a bigger job to do as parents.

“Our priority has always been our daughters,” Coleman said. “Since before they were born. Before any other situation, our priority has always been them. That’s why we’ve been married for 30 years.”

Once Coleman and her family settled into the area, that’s when they started opening the restaurant.

“My mother had a small business similar to ours where she sold Mexican snacks,” Gamboa said. “We were working hard here, and we decided, why don’t we open our own business? We started little by little, but we would be working on ourselves.”

After several years, the family has since established their restaurant and grown. They said their favorite part is getting to meet new people who come but also get to see regular faces.

“It’s a job that doesn’t feel like a job,” Coleman said. “She says her and her husband are thankful for having the opportunity to work, but are most proud of the life they were able to create for themselves and their daughters.”