Business Services Client Oasis del Norte

Eduardo Sandoval Luna had a dream: to offer the hospitality of his homeland here in northeast Minnesota.

He’d grown up working in his mother’s popular restaurant in Mexico and was eager to share the recipes he loved. He wanted to bring not only authentic Mexican food but also a taste of his culture to a region where he saw little Latino representation.

His restauranteur journey began more than eight years ago. In addition to his day job as an electrician, Eduardo took a chance on a side hustle, launching the Oasis del Norte (Oasis of the North) food truck.

The “taco trailer” gained a loyal following in the Duluth area and at festivals regionwide. It’s also been a way for Eduardo’s own familia to work together the same way he grew up. His wife, Angela, a school teacher, and teenaged sons Mateo, Adan, and Eduardo, help with the family business during the summer months.

It reminds me of home, and my mom, but more importantly, you can experience a part of Mexico when you eat my food. — Eduardo Sandoval Luna

He didn’t stop there. The next step was foundational, literally: opening a restaurant not on wheels. Eduardo envisioned a space to not only expand his menu but also make Mexican culture more visible through displays and educational initiatives.

An ideal location in Duluth’s burgeoning Lincoln Park craft district was for sale. But a gas station had once stood on the site meaning potential soil clean-up. It was a big barrier to getting the financing he needed.

Eduardo persisted. He learned there was help and hope. As a nontraditional community development lender, the Northland Foundation had the capacity to craft a workable loan structure. It’s taken time and effort, but today the Sandoval Luna family are opening the doors to Oasis del Norte’s new bricks-and-mortar restaurant.

For Eduardo, the business isn't just about food; it's about sharing tradition, culture, and a genuine taste of Mexico with the community. It’s also a testament to the power of passion and perseverance. Tacos, anyone?