Bueno Y Sano opened in Amherst, Massachusetts on January 22 of 1995 and was founded by University of Massachusetts alum, class of 1993, Bob Lowry. Bueno Y Sano’s recipes and different menu items are the result of ideas from staff members at the restaurant and some of Bob’s original ideas. The mission of Bueno Y Sano is to “make people happy”. The company now has four locations: Amherst, Northampton and Springfield, MA, and Burlington, VT.
Bob Lowry, who still owns and runs the company, hatched the idea for Bueno Y Sano after having a burrito at a small restaurant on Nantucket Island. A month later while driving through Amherst on his way to visit friends Bob spotted a “for rent” sign in the window of a spot next-door to a very popular pizzeria in Amherst, Antonio’s Pizza. He thought that a burrito shop would appeal to the student market in Amherst, of which he had just recently been a part.
Bob called the number on the “for rent” sign. The location next to Antonio’s Pizza was already spoken for, but the owners had another spot that was still available. It was formerly “El Sinbad”, a Middle Eastern eatery on Boltwood Walk. Bob decided to pursue the second location.
Bob began discussing the idea with his father and his friends. He wrote down his ideas and created financial projections with some numbers he had collected from others who had opened restaurants. He also created a survey to find out if people in Amherst were interested in burritos.
Eventually with his business plan in hand, Bob convinced his father to invest $20,000. The restaurant opened on January 22, 1995, just four months after the idea had occurred to Bob that a burrito shop might fly in downtown Amherst. The response was immediate and very positive. The staff often felt like the line of people wanting burritos would never end.
Bueno Y Sano is still located in its original space. The restaurant expanded in 1996 and was remodeled in 1999.
The restaurants are staffed and managed primarily by a family from El Salvador, most of whom have worked for the company for many years. Two of the family members, Rolando Saravia and his mother, Florentina, are part-owners of the company.
Bueno Y Sano takes pride in being a true family business. Bob’s brother, Will, owns and manages the Burlington, VT location, his father, Ralph keeps the books, and his sister Deb directs Community Affairs.