‘McAllen first’ philosophy propels small businesses to back conservative in deep blue South Texas

Last summer Eliza Garza had a dream – to open a snow cone stand on the beach in South Texas. A few months later, Eliza and her business partner Margret Debruyn turned that dream into a restaurant, opening their first Iced Cube Shaved Ice in Edinburg, TX in November 2020. 

Debruyn says people told them they were crazy to open a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic. Despite this, the pair doubled down on their investment, taking over the Iced Cube franchise and opening two more locations, including one in McAllen, TX.

“We opened in other cities around the [Rio Grande Valley], and it wasn’t this difficult. There was a major struggle to open here in this city,” says Garza.

Garza blames miscommunication with city leaders for their issues, but hopes the city’s new mayor, Javier Villalobos, will help cut through the red tape in city hall.

“The fact that he identified with my struggle, and that he wants to create solutions for it moving forward, not only…

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