What is the 4th of July all about in Sleepy Eye? Food and fireworks!

What is the 4th of July all about in Sleepy Eye? Well sure, it’s about celebrating our nation’s birthday. And how do we (and all other communities) celebrate that event? With food and fireworks, that’s how!

But how have we survived all these years, when the food stand in Allison Park shuts down before supper time? Cooking for ourselves shouldn’t have to be our only option on a holiday and this year it won’t be. Jose and Kristi Saenz will operate their new food concession business — Illegal Amigos, LLC — on the beach while everyone is waiting for the best 4th of July fireworks in Brown County to begin at dusk.

Now, there’s no need to get all concerned about the Saenz’s business name. They intend it to be light-hearted, catchy and memorable. This writer considers it to be a bit of marketing genius!

Kristi and Jose said choosing a small business name, non-chain related, was very difficult. They did their research, and realized the name should be short, memorable and descriptive.

“We gathered feedback from many locals, including many immigrants, and we all felt it was catchy and memorable,” said Kristi. “Most chuckled and felt it was light hearted, which was our intention. The name is not made to be racial, political or offensive by any means. In today’s world there are so many negative and bad things going on that our goal was to create a little sense of humor, along with a long, successful, profitable business.”

Illegal Amigos menu includes tacos, quesadillas and nachos. Their slogan is: “food so good it oughta be illegal.” Yum, can’t wait!

Illegal Amigos will be set up on the north end of the south beach area (the place where vehicles drive on to the lake during ice fishing season.) They’ll sell food from 4 to 9 p.m. Their menu on the 4th includes: chicken or fajita (steak) tacos, on corn or flour tortillas; chicken, fajita, or cheese quesadillas; nachos—basic, loaded, and hot cheeto nachos; and rice. Jose said the authentic tacos are mild, seasoned only with cilantro and onion. A variety of sauces, including avocado and several salsas, will be available for customers to add to their own taste.

As they get started, Jose and Kristi will operate Illegal Amigos from a concession stand. They will add a food truck this winter and look forward to appearing at many community events in the area.

Illegal Amigos is a fun side business for the Saenzes. Both love their day jobs. Jose is a journeyman lineman with Sleepy Eye Public Utilities; Kristi is the Office Manager at Central Region Cooperative’s BCA Products location.