Business: New name and new owner for Peterborough burrito house

  • Ingrid Aho of Sharon is the new owner of De Olla Burritos in Peterborough. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Ingrid Aho of Sharon is the new owner of De Olla Burritos in Peterborough. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Ingrid Aho of Sharon is the new owner of De Olla Burritos in Peterborough. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Ingrid Aho of Sharon is the new owner of De Olla Burritos in Peterborough. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 12/10/2018 11:15:05 AM

After being closed for two weeks, Peterborough burrito house Cafe De Olla reopened Wednesday with a new owner and a new name, De Olla Burritos.

The new owner, Ingrid Aho says she never really thought about owning a restaurant, but when the opportunity arose to take over Cafe De Olla, the 20-year-old from Sharon said it was too good to pass up.

Looking back, Aho said she has spent the last three and a half years preparing for this moment. She learned the ropes of the business working for the restaurant in Peterborough for two years. Then when she helped the owner, Will Baker, open a second location in Newport last year she got a better idea of what it takes to oversee all aspects of the restaurant.

Aho, who graduated from ConVal High School in 2017, said she felt ready for the challenge of running her own eating establishment. So after shutting down operations for two-plus weeks to remodel and renovate, Aho opened the doors to her renamed De Olla Burritos last Wednesday in the same Route 202/Concord Street spot of the former Cafe De Olla.

“My experience has given me a lot of confidence to do something like this,”Aho said. “So why not take the chance?”

The reason for the name change was simple. Not only did she want a change after taking over, Aho felt “cafe” had led to confusion in the past – many had come in looking for coffee – so she wanted it to be clear what the restaurant serves.

De Olla Burritos has a similar menu as Cafe De Olla, offering burritos, tacos, quesadillas and bowls. Aho is adding hard shells for tacos and has introduced short rib steak to the menu to go along with the pulled pork, which is slow cooked for 24 hours, and roasted chicken.

“It will be exciting to see what customers like,” Aho said. “I really enjoy working with food and interacting with the customers.”

Aho had moved to the Newport area to run that Cafe De Olla location when it opened, but having lived her entire life in the Monadnock Region, she was eager to come back. It’s never good for a restaurant to be closed for long, so Aho worked quickly to complete her remodel on a budget. The restaurant was only shut down for two weeks, as she repainted the entire interior, added some new wallpaper, reupholstered the booths and repainted the tables.

“The whole restaurant has been completely transformed,” she said.

And now that she’s reopened, Aho is excited about the ability to experiment with new ingredients and create specials to see what customers think. Over the last three-plus years, Aho has remembered those special orders and unique requests – as well as her own creations – and now hopes to put them to good use.

“I’ve been able to try something new every day … and that leads to some new ideas,” Aho said.

The last three weeks have been a little crazy with the redesign and opening, and Aho expects it to be much of the same in the early going. She has a brand new staff, and plans to be at her new business as much as she can to make sure everything runs smoothly.

“I’ll be here from open to close for the first few months,” she said.

But even with many long days ahead, Aho is excited to see what the future holds.

“It was more about the fact the opportunity fell into my lap and why not?” she said.

De Olla, which has enough seating for 16 and offers food to go, is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Aho said it will be a bit of a learning curve, but said she feels prepared for the challenge.

“We don’t want to change too much,” she said. “It’s definitely a big undertaking, but I’m excited for it.”


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