30 years of delicious memories

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By Carol A. Clark

Featured on the April/May cover of Southwest Restaurateur Magazine, De Colores owners Joan and Melvin Duran have reached a proud milestone: three decades in business.

“We first opened in 1978 in White Rock and we moved up here behind Baskin Robbins in 1989,” Joan said. “We moved to our current location at 2470 East Road on May 5, 2003.”

When she began the family business, Duran prepared her family recipes first in the former White Rock Tastee Freeze, then Mel’s Diner, where she incorporated chile, carne adovada and sopaipillas – the recipes of her mother, Rachel Apodaca.

The family business includes the Durans’ daughter, Debbie Duran Merhege, who serves as bookkeeper for the restaurant.

Son Tim Duran was the restaurant’s chef for 29-and-a-half years until recently moving to Albuquerque to attend school.

Melvin has supported his family’s business from behind the scenes while working full time. He is an engineer who retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2000 after 40 years.

He now maintains an office in the back of the restaurant where he works on the security/surveillance software he is marketing, Joan said.