Niesje and Tex Province have added spice to a fabulous dining experience in San Pedro by introducing Tex-Mex Cuisine at La Margarita Restaurant. Niesje was born and raised in Grand Junction, Colorado. She moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1966 where she lived for twenty-five years raising her family. For thirteen years she was a docent (volunteer teacher) at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. She particularly enjoyed teaching the various animal programs in all the school districts. For five years before coming to Belize, she worked as a Concierge for the Broadmoor Hotel, a five star resort/hotel in Colorado Springs.
Tex was born and raised in Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State University with a Landscape Architectural Degree and went on to graduate school to learn city planning. He was a City Planner in Phoenix, Arizona and then moved to Colorado Springs in 1973 and started building custom homes. Tex and Niesje met there in 1975 and were married in 1979. Together they have seven children; she with five and he with two.
Tex's first interest in Belize came from an ad in USA Today advertising the need for housing. He hooked up with partners, came to Ambergris Caye and developed Paradise Villas. Following that, he did construction and design of custom homes on the island. He and Niesje then opened Windstar Agency, an all purpose real estate agency, operating from 1991 to 1996.
Meanwhile Niesje was also appointed as the Warden for the U.S. Embassy in San Pedro. This is a volunteer job that Niesje has enjoyed ever since. She is a liaison between the U. S. Embassy and U.S. citizens and tourists visiting San Pedro.
In 1993 the Province's started their "dream house" focusing on a typical southwestern U.S. style of house. Prior to completion, they decided to expand their architectural design into something equally creative. Hearing many requests for Tex-Mex cuisine and taking into consideration their building style, they found partners and opened the restaurant in September of 1996. Regretfully, their partners only stayed for five months and then returned to Texas. With no prior restaurant business experience, Niesje and Tex learned on a day-to-day basis. They got advice for their menu from a chef friend of theirs. Combining this with their own special touches, they came up with the wide variety of mouthwatering Tex-Mex dishes on their menu today. La Margarita Restaurant is the home of the "Margarita Grande," a forty ounce Margarita, served frozen or "on the rocks." Also a favorite of many is the shrimp, beef or chicken fajitas. The restaurant recently opened for breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. everyday except Tuesdays. Dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The excellent food at La Margarita is complimented by award winning decorating. The restaurant is adorned with intricate decorations, all with special sentimental value to the Province's. Most of it comes from friends and family in Arizona and Colorado. The restaurant also offers three dining experiences: garden area (screened in), open verandah or an air conditioned dining room.
Together Niesje and Tex share responsibilities of the business and even act as back up dishwashers, cooks and waiter/waitress. "We have had good experiences in Belize and have learned to appreciate things a lot more," said Niesje. They are happy to see the growing quality of education in Belize and the great ecological projects that have started in San Pedro and the rest of the country. The Province's ended by saying, "We hope to keep our customers satisfied by offering good value, good food and good service."
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