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The year was 1989, the place, Arizona State University, the characters, ASU students.  Born that year was the “9 Beans and a Burrito”.  A group of students formed a softball team, which would eventually lead to the creation of a small chain of restaurants carrying the same name, the conception of a non-profit foundation carrying the same name and inevitably lead this same group of students to lifelong friendships.

“9 Beans and A Burrito” started as an intramural softball team at Arizona State University.  How did we come up with such a name?   A couple of elements were considered when it came time to decide on a name for this newly formed team. First, we wanted this name to reveal a little bit of our background. Also, we wanted the name to be about something we excelled at. Given that most of us were of Hispanic decent; “Beans” seemed to be a simple enough concept while still giving our team a fun identity. Next, softball was easily our sport of choice and genuinely the sport we most excelled in.  So we combined these 2 thoughts:  

Although we had roughly 20 teammates, only ten players can play on the softball field at one time.  However, an obvious concern arose when we tried to attach the label of “Bean” to our extraordinarily huge 6’4”, 350 lb teammate. So we found the middle ground.  Since the rest of us were somewhat small in comparison, we had no choice but to honor him with his own title of the “Burrito”.  One position was taken by the “Burrito”, which left 9 positions available for the “Beans”.  Hence, we became “9 Beans and A Burrito”.  

As a softball team we excelled within the intramural ranks, which led to competing in additional team sports at the university. We geared our success and growing popularity as a team towards involving ourselves in community service events on corporate levels, as well as for college clubs. These extracurricular activities became a way of life for the team and helped develop our belief system as well as form an even stronger bond amongst us.  These beliefs and bond would eventually lead to the creation of the “9 Beans and A Burrito Foundation”.

On October 24, 2002, 9 Beans and a Burrito Foundation Inc became an official 501c-3 status corporation. The Foundation's 6 officer board (friends from the "college days") is responsible for the day to day business. The Foundation's primary focuses are on the enhancement of education in order to better individuals, as well as, active involvement in community to better our society. To date, our foundation has awarded well over $100,000 dollars in total between our Back to School Spree program and College Scholarship program.

Before the foundation, came the restaurants. In December of 1993, the first 9 Beans and a Burrito restaurant opened its doors in Elko, Nevada. A couple of years later, another restaurant would open in Twin Falls, Idaho with the same name. From day one till now our small friendly communities have never ceased in supporting our restaurants and we humbly extend our gratitude. It is hard to beat a fresh home cooked meal. We are truly blessed!

Although our group has “grown up” and some of us frequent each other more than others, we have maintained our friendships and look forward with great anticipation to those special events which physically bring us and our families together. Thank you to everyone that has supported our cause (foundation) as well as our restaurants!

By the way, the “Burrito is still living large” in Arizona at an undisclosed address and at an undisclosed weight.

God Bless,

Juan Nunez