NKY couple taps into family’s entrepreneurial spirit to sell the food they love in their own space

This summer will mark the fourth year that Lita’s Tacos has operated at their Hopeful Church Rd. location at U.S. 42 in Florence. 

It took years of planning and building a customer base for the husband-and-wife team, Aarington Davis and Mari Pinto, to get to this point. All the while growing their popularity and their family along the way.

“We’ve worked hard to have this dream,” said Davis. “It took us five years alone just to get a spot at the Boone County Fair operating our small food truck. One year they called us the week before the start of the Boone County Fair letting us know that there was a spot available. At that point, we immediately had a family meeting and then finally decided to jump at the opportunity.” 

Lita's Tacos Street Tacos Lita’s sweeping menu includes many delectable eats including an array of authentic street tacos, layered with onion, cilantro, and radishes; completed with either jalapeno cream or lime tomatillo sauce and your choice of chicken or steak. The restaurant’s specialties include their street corn, a half cobb of corn speared with a stick for handling, swirled in finely grated cotija cheese with the end rimmed with chili powder. Additional vegetarian options are also available.

These styles of dishes, Pinto explained, help differentiate the restaurant from many of the other restaurants in the area and are inspired from her own parents’ recipes. “This is what we grew up eating in our home in California when I was young. In fact, even now, my mom and dad, Lita and Lito, prepare the sauces that we use in the restaurant.”

This isn't the Davis Family’s first venture into entrepreneurship. 

Arrington Davis’ family started their own skate shop in Florence, Ky., in the mid-’90s called Triple A—named after Davis and his two siblings, whose names all begin with the letter A. Triple A closed in 2007 when the economy began to sour, but that entrepreneurial spirit still lives on. 

The Cincinnati metropolitan area is home to roughly 200 Latino restaurants that represent eight different cuisines, including Argentinian, Colombian, Peruvian and, of course, Mexican. While the local Latino population is small, it is growing and positively impacting our region. It’s a key contributor to the Northern Kentucky region’s expanding economy as well as the region’s recent population growth. 

For example, a great part of the region’s population growth between 2014-2017 was due to immigrant and refugee communities moving to the region. According to Apoyo Latino, The Greater Cincinnati Latino Coalition, “Hispanic households account for a large portion of America’s spending power; their contributions to the US economy are very important. The growing earnings of Hispanic households have made them major contributors to U.S. tax revenue.”

As for Davis and Pinto, the couple promises to keep innovating. “We want food that is familiar to us, and we want to share it with the people that we love,” Davis says. “We want to expand Lita’s to share with others in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.”
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Kareem A. Simpson.

Raised in the inner city of Covington, Kentucky, Kareem Simpson is an author, innovator, community enthusiast, military veteran, serial entrepreneur, foodie and lover of all things creative.