BY JEFF BACON
Like many of the best life lessons, Rodolfo Serva learned a secret to success from his mother. “Our mother made sure that my brothers and I always treated everyone with respect,” Rodolfo noted during a recent interview. “Of course, her reason for instilling this in us was to help us become productive members of society but it has served all of us very well, especially in our careers in the food service industry.”
As owner of KB’s restaurant, Rodolfo has found an extremely qualified set of managers, having to look no further than his immediate family – his brothers. “My brothers and I run the restaurants together; one of our brothers is in Ketchum, another is at our Twin Falls location and yet another is in McCall,” Rodolfo notes. “My brother Santos used to work for KB’s but he recently purchased Hailey Coffee Company, so he’s pretty busy with that now.”
When Rodolfo moved from his home in Peru to the Wood River Valley 19 years ago, he came to work with his father as a sheepherder and farmer. Soon he moved to work in construction and that led to him opening his first business. “I remember being approached by several different businesses that asked if I would consider managing their custodial maintenance,” Rodolfo recalls. “I started a commercial cleaning business that I also managed for seven years.”
Saving money, Rodolfo eventually opened his first restaurant, Rinconcito Peruano, a Peruvian restaurant located in the antique train car in Ketchum. “Unfortunately the timing on opening that first restaurant wasn’t good,” Rodolfo notes. “The economy was just starting to drop and after four years I had to close. It was a sad time.”
In 2013, Rodolfo purchased the KB’s location in Hailey and began making some changes. “The first thing we did was to change the menu,” Rodolfo recalls. “We offer both traditional and non-traditional Mexican food. Also, we think it’s good to have choices, so while there are basic items on the menu, we encourage people to tell us how they want it. We’re always happy to customize anything on the menu.”
Since purchasing his first location in Hailey, Rodolfo has now taken over the location in Ketchum and opened additional restaurants in Twin Falls and McCall and the future looks bright for this Hailey-based business. “We’re in the process of opening a second location in Twin Falls in the old downtown district,” Rodolfo notes. “We’re also really excited about our newest location soon to be in Boise.” Additionally, KB’s is looking at the possibility of building franchise restaurants in the future.
Rodolfo notes, “Our formula is pretty simple. Offer fresh, good food that is a healthy option and keep it as local as we can.”
Jeff Bacon is the Hailey Chamber of Commerce’s membership director. For more information, visit haileyidaho.com or call the Chamber at (208) 788-3484.