When Lawrence, Massachusetts, entrepreneur and adventurist Richard Travers was just 21, he left his native Boston to explore the world. While studying and working in Costa Rica and Panama, he was introduced to the signature Latin flavors of Pollo Campero. It is a taste he plans to share later this month.
Travers is opening his own Pollo Campero restaurant on June 20 at 195 Lowell St. in Lawrence, Massachusets.
“There’s nothing like Pollo Campero’s Latin flavors and its famous fried and grilled chicken,” Travers says. “The way it’s prepared, the spices, and our salsa bar deliver an unforgettable experience. I had a wonderful time living in Central America, and the taste of Pollo Campero always brings back special memories.”
Though the restaurant has a global reach today, Pollo Campero was founded as a small family restaurant in Guatemala in 1971.
Travers’ new restaurant in Lawrence marks the third in Massachusetts. Lawrence has a large Hispanic population, and when Travers was considering various franchises to open, he watched the new Pollo Campero in Chelsea carefully.
“People were lined up outside for weeks. It caused traffic jams. Pollo Campero diners are passionate and loyal, whether they’re in Central America or Boston. It’s a taste people never forget, and it’s something worth waiting in line outside in the rain for. I knew this was a restaurant people in Lawrence would love.”
The new restaurant is bringing 70 new jobs to the area. About a third of the workforce is made up of high school students who were identified by the city as at risk for not graduating, and 75 percent of the staff speaks Spanish. Travers is also a fluent Spanish speaker.
“It was important to me to bring something to Lawrence that the community would love, but also something that would benefit the people who live here,” Travers says. “Giving high school students the chance to earn extra money and stay out of trouble was a priority when we were hiring. It makes me feel great to give these kids an opportunity to make good choices and do something positive for themselves.”
Travers will formally introduce Pollo Campero’s Lawrence restaurant to the community with a grand opening hosting the mascot Pollito on June 20. The restaurant is also sponsoring La Semana Hispana, one of New England’s biggest festivals for the last 34 years, June 15-17.
“We want people to know that one of their favorite Latin flavors is now part of the community where they live. I’m excited to bring this wonderful brand into a market that is so hungry for it,” Travers says.