Guacamole’s owner reflects on restaurant’s beginnings

Let it be known: there’s a new burrito place in town. Located at 108 Main Street in Waterville, in between KeyBank and Jewel of India, Guacamole’s fulfills owner Kevin Joseph’s longtime dream of opening up a second restaurant.

As someone “born and raised in Waterville,” both its history and future are important to Kevin Joseph. Owner of You Know Whose Pub for the past 20 years, Joseph told the Echo that he has been building relationships with his clientele and the owners of the surrounding restaurants for years. He opened Guacamole’s this past fall to fill a gap that existed in the eating options in the surrounding area: a takeout burrito place.

Joseph described Guacamole’s building as having “a fun history.” The original location of Day’s Jewelers, 108 Main Street then served as the home of Kennebec Chocolates before converting into the campaign headquarters of Maine Representatives Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree. This history is still present in the phone jacks that scatter the walls of the space.

Although it is designed to predominantly fill takeout orders, the cozy interior of Guacamole’s still has a number of tables where customers can sit and enjoy their food.

Joseph shared that he has had to adjust from a fully sit-down restaurant like You Know Whose to the take out model of Guacamole’s because he is “used to sitting down here [at You Know Whose] and whenever it’s full you know you’re doing well.” But, the day’s success at Guacamole’s has to consider the to-go orders as well.

Rather than driving to somewhere like Chipotle in Augusta, Joseph wants “people to come in there and have fun and just have another option, for the locals to stay in Waterville, and to have people from Augusta, Skowhegan, Fairfield, Oakland to come over here and enjoy it.”

Joseph said that when he decided to open the restaurant he made sure to consider the local food scene, because “to do something that someone else is doing kind of defeats the purpose of really trying to do something that is better for the community.”

While there are two Mexican places in town, Cancun and Buen Apetito, Joseph said Guacamole’s fills a different niche because it does not serve alcohol and is open only until 6 p.m.

Joseph said that he consulted with the owners of the other two Mexican establishments before opening. He feels that he is “at the point where I wouldn’t want to do anything, and this probably isn’t the greatest business move, but I wouldn’t want to open something to hurt somebody else.”

Guacamole’s provides Waterville and the surrounding area fresher source of Mexican food closer to home. The menu offers a variety of burritos (which can all be made into bowls), quesadillas, salads, sauces, and sides. Joseph can’t say enough about the freshness of every dish:

“Everything is done in-house, and you will not be disappointed.”

The 41 reviews Guacamole’s has received on its Facebook page in the short time have all rated the restaurant five out of five stars. The food is described as “super yummy,” “fresh,” and “quite delicious,” while the staff are repeatedly commended on their wonderful customer service.

On almost every post or comment left on their page, the Guacamole’s account or Joseph’s personal account take the time to acknowledge their customer’s experiences and thank them for their business.

This, however, is only the beginning. Guacamole’s is still a brand new business, and Joseph anticipates growth and change in the future. He just recently switched the restaurant’s hours from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. in order to accommodate the dinner rush—a move that was influenced by Joseph’s customers at You Know Whose.

“Obviously, as an owner, I knew we were missing that 5:00 crowd, you know,” Joseph said. “People work till five, a lot of my regulars here at the pub kept saying, ‘Kevin we want to support you but we have to work till five.’ I knew that going in, but I wanted to make sure we did it the right way.”

“So now we’re 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., could that be expanded? It could. And we’re closed Sunday/Monday, could that change? It’s a possibility. It’s really up to the consumer, whatever the consumers want, we’ll do,” Joseph said.

He guessed that Fridays and Saturdays could become later nights for the restaurant, “Especially when we start serving beer and wine. I could see them wanting to come there for dinner.”