In 1962, at the young age of 16 our founder, Luis Fernandez had immigrated to the United States to flee the beginning of Communism in an exodus titled “Operation Peter Pan”. This covert operation involved 14,000 unaccompanied minors from the ages of 6-18 traveling to the United States to avoid the potential communist indoctrination centers that Fidel Castro was planning.
It was during this time that Luis began his long and storied career in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher on Miami Beach. In 1968 he moved to Naples, Fl and started his only job in Southwest Florida at “La Playa” Beach and Golf Resort
Raquel Fernandez, along with most of her family immigrated to America during the Mariel Boat Lift of 1980 from Cardenas, Cuba. She received a knock at the door that they were to leave for Florida and with no hesitation, left her country with only the few things she could carry and a large family to look after. The family then boarded a shrimp boat and began their long journey to freedom. Little did she know the wonders of the new future in store for her and her family.
In 1983, Raquel and Luis met and were married. Fernandez The Bull opened their kitchen for the first time in 1985 determined to bring great tasting homemade Cuban food to Southwest Florida and was embraced with open arms, at many times having a line wrapping around the shopping center with patrons wanting to experience Cuban food for the first time. With almost 40+ years later, SWFL still supports the Fernandez The Bull brand!
There wouldn’t be a “Fernandez The Bull” without Luis and Raquel Fernandez and when speaking of his love for the United States, Luis Fernandez shares, “I landed in this country with my right foot!”, expressing always being blessed with success. He shared that success in helping bring a number of his family members to the United States establishing generations being blessed with the “American Dream”.
Now, that the next generation of family has stepped in to continue the dream of bringing the best tasting Cuban food to a growing population, to a new generation of people that grew up coming to Fernandez the Bull as children and to new communities across this great state of Florida. As we build upon this dream, you can enjoy our delicious food at currently four locations, with the most recent location opening in Bonita Springs, FL.