Felipe Mata, the owner of Teresa’s Mexican Restaurant, is originally from the small town of San Jose de la Paz in the Mexican state of Jalisco. He immigrated to Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 13 in search of the American Dream. When he arrived, he received a job as a dishwasher. Throughout the years, he worked his way up to becoming a cook, and then a manager. During these years he met his now wife, Teresa.
In 1980, with his brother Arturo by his side, Felipe decided to begin his own restaurant in Rome, Georgia. He named this new restaurant El Zarape, which still remains in business to this day. In the mid 1980’s he decided to start expanding his flourishing business.
In 1985 he established another restaurant in Augusta, Georgia (home of The Masters Golf Tournament) and decided to name it after his wife, Teresa. After the success of this new restaurant, Felipe decided to open many more locations throughout Augusta. Due to the success of Teresa’s they established restaurants in 3 states. 3 in Georgia, 2 in South Carolina and 3 in Minnesota.