Chicago business owners celebrated for adapting during pandemic

A local taco business was featured in a national campaign with award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey.  

They were selected because of their creativity in pulling their restaurant through the pandemic.

Husband and wife duo, Rick and Ashley Ortiz, have owned Antique Taco for ten years.  

The company "Homebase" picked their story out of hundreds for the campaign.  

"There was a lot of prep, a lot of build-up," said Ashley about their Zoom chat with McConaughey.   

The actor talked about excerpts from his new book, "Greenlights", and how it applies to businesses who have struggled and succeeded during the pandemic.  

FOX 32 spoke with Homebase CEO John Waldmann about why Antique Taco made the cut.   

"They're so inspiring during normal times but during the course of COVID, they're more inspiring than ever," he said. 


Antique Taco pivoted in several ways to accommodate the rules of the pandemic.  

"Our Revival Food Hall location, we had to close, due to the building closing, so we were able to move some staff over and have everybody continue working.  At Wicker Park, our flagship, we cut a hole in the window, I mean in the wall, and created a window," said Rick.  

At that particular location, the new window allowed people to purchase walk-up tacos.  

At the Bridgeport location, they turned the parking lot into an old fashioned car-hop experience.   

"We just did what we could, and we had the luck of the neighborhood coming out to support us as well," said Rick.    

"One of the things about small businesses that's true in good times and in bad is they are gritty as hell, and they are resilient, and they are entrepreneurial. They get punched in the face. They get back up. They find a way," said Waldmann.