Talking shop with Justin Denton, owner of Burrito-Ville

Monday, October 3, 2011
Justin W. Denton is the owner of Burrito-Ville in Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)

Justin Denton, owner of Burrito-Ville in Cape Girardeau, turned his passion for Mexican food into a restaurant where they'll wrap up almost anything in a tortilla and serve it to you as a burrito.

Q: What was your motivation behind opening Burrito-Ville?

A: I've always had a passion for food, Mexican food especially. I guess I just like the way it tastes. Probably because I like spicy sauces and salsas.

Q: What are some of the things that sets Burrito-Ville apart from other Mexican restaurants?

A: Some of what sets Burrito-Ville apart from other Mexican restaurants is we don't use any lard. Our refried beans are vegetarian. We are locally owned and operated. We shop local when we can. We have great ice cream, root beer floats and desserts. We are nonsmoking. We don't sell alcohol. We are closed on Sundays. Burrito-Ville is not a chain or a franchise.

Q: What's the strangest thing you've ever put in a burrito?

A: Maybe it's not too strange, but I've tried a lot of prototypes, and I think probably s'mores. Marshmallows and chocolate with some graham crackers. It's not on the menu, but it was good.

Q: What's your favorite menu item?

A: My favorite menu item is probably the beef nacho supreme. I add refried beans, jalapenos and onion. The buffalo chicken burrito is a close second.

Q: Where does the inspiration for your clever sign messages come from?

A: While the main objective of the sign is to sell food, making someone laugh is what keeps them reading each time they go by.

Q: What's the hardest part about owning your own business? What do you enjoy most?

A: Some of what is tough about being an owner is making new items to keep customers coming back. What I've enjoyed most about being an owner has been 11-plus years of meeting my customers. There was a guy who ate here over 30 consecutive business days. Thanks, Dave!

Q: As a downtown business owner, describe your vision for the future of downtown Cape Girardeau.

A: I'm looking forward to seeing changes downtown. Whenever there is change, it creates new opportunity. Cape Girardeau downtown is an amazing place full of potential. My vision would be no vacant storefronts and parking galore.

Q: How has using social media like Facebook and Twitter helped your business?

A: First things first, my wonderful wife Mary Rose set up both Facebook and Twitter for Burrito-Ville. I first thought, since I didn't use them Burrito-Ville didn't need them. I couldn't have been more wrong. I think that Facebook and Twitter have a lot to offer. While using each for just a few minutes a day I can remind a customer why they should come back, maybe even highlight a local event.

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