A picture is worth a thousand words – The circumstances of how one might come to own a cattle ranching business in Uruguay is a long story best told over a cold drink on a Sunday afternoon at a BBQ or bonfire in a somewhat meandering conversational style with an adequate amount of colorful yet honest hyperbole. For the sake of brevity the short version is no less entertaining. One of our employees at The Creek, Delfor, always volunteered and asked for extra hours. Curious as to why we should preference him over other employees for overtime we asked what he needed the extra money for. Delfor explained how he had to keep sending as much money as possible home to his wife in Uruguay so they could continue buying more cattle. Even by the standards of outrageous and improbable that one gets used to in the South Florida hospitality industry, this was a new one. Our curiosity piqued, Delfor extended an invitation for us to travel home with him for a long weekend, it’s impossible to know if he actually intended for my partner Jeremy and I to take him up on that invitation, but we did. Thus began a good friendship and business relationship that we enjoyed for many years.
La Tejana was, and still is, a fully functional cattle ranching operation, with almost 3,000 acres of land just outside the town of Guichon. Accommodations were by no means luxurious, although surprisingly comfortable. Boiling hot coffee in the mornings, followed by checking the herds, the fences, meat on the asado in the evenings. Loud stories around a camp fire.
The business model was not that we owned the land, although had a long term option to purchase, we owned the cattle, rented the land and sold the cattle under mostly contractual agreement to Tacuarembo and another smaller facility outside Paysandu.