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Lita's Tacos Finally Finds Home in Florence

In a show of perseverance, a Northern Kentucky couple now has their own space to sell tacos.

Lita's Tacos now operates in a small space on Hopeful Church Road at U.S. 42 in Florence, decorated inside with pinatas.

It took five years of planning for Aarington Davis and Maribel Pinto, a husband-and-wife team, and three years of building a customer base for this moment.

"It took us five years alone just to get a spot at the Boone County Fair," said Davis, of the small mobile operation Lita's was at the beginning. "One year they called us the Thursday before the Fair started and told us that a spot was open. At that point, I ran home, spoke with my family and we finally agreed and said, 'Let's do this!'"

Lita's Tacos offers up a limited number of fillings for their taco creations, but that's where the limitations stop and culinary adventure begins. With chicken or steak as a base, the simplistically delectable tacos are rounded out with onion, cilantro, and radishes and completed with either jalapeno cream or lime tomatillo sauce. A vegetarian option is also available.

Pinto's mother, Eva, is the inspiration to the recipes.

"It's my mother's recipes we serve," Pinto said. "Her being from Guatemala, our kids call her Mama Lita and that's where we got the name. She actually still makes a fresh batch of salsa fresca every morning for us."

The restaurant's specialties include their street corn, a half cobb of corn speared with a stick for handling, swirled in finely grated cotija cheese with the end rimmed with chili powder.

The couple is joined by Juana Pinto and Lionel Calhoun in the operation and in the earlier days at the county fair, Lita's would sometimes go a full day without a single customer. But the team marched on, even when the cash register was empty.

But tapping into his family experience, Davis helped the taco shop move forward.

Born in Covington before moving to Florence where he attended Boone County High School, Davis's family owned and operated Triple A Skate Shop for fifteen years.

"My dad used drop us off at the Florence Mall with a stack of flyers for the shop," Davis said.

Now that entrepreneurial pavement-hitting continues with Lita's Tacos.

Lita's Tacos is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday litastacos.com.

Written by Kareem Simpson, RCN contributor