Customers fill empty taco shop after daughter posts heartfelt Christmas wish for her mom
'It breaks my heart to see my mom watching the door every day, waiting for a customer to walk in,' wrote Isabel Milan.
In Glenview, Illinois, you’ll find Taco-Bout-Joy’s, a restaurant owned by sisters Joy Milan and Kack Keomanivong, which boasts a menu full of delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine.
Only a short while ago, business was anything but booming for the family-owned shop. Joy’s daughter Isabel posted a heartbreaking video to TikTok showing her mother watching the door in hopes of customers. Meanwhile, the restaurant remained painfully empty.
Feeling for her mom, Joy wrote that her “Christmas wish” was to give Milan customers. Her sincerity clearly struck a chord with people, because the post garnered more than 39 million views and received a flood of compassionate comments from folks near and far.
“Op not me crying over this lady’s taco place thousands of miles away from me,” wrote one person.
I wish I could give her customers for Christmas♬ In My Room - speedllist
Only a day later, Isabel posted an update. Taco-Bout-Joy’s underwent a complete turnaround—so many customers arrived that Joy had to enlist a new crew immediately. The video shows nine people working together in the bustling kitchen to fulfill a surge of orders.
If you found tears in your tacos, I’m sorry 💖♬ original sound - Taco-Bout-Joys
“If you found tears in your tacos, I’m sorry,” wrote Isabel.
The good luck hasn’t slowed down. The restaurant shared on its Facebook page that Taco-Bout-Joy’s had been voted by netizens as one of “Chicago’s Best Mexican Restaurants.” And things are so busy now that the shop is currently hiring additional staff. Can you say Christmas miracle?
Viewers continue to share their love online as well. The business now has 244,000 followers.
“I’m so happy to be here to watch y’all grow,” one person commented.
People have driven from hours away to try Chef Joy’s food, and the reviews are glowing.
“Drove 3 1/2 hours and definitely worth it love supporting small businesses” one person commented.
Another wrote, “seriously thinking about driving the 7.5 hours from Nashville just to support and eat!”
On Dec. 10, Isabel sent a heartfelt thank-you in another TikTok update, saying that the experience has been “incredible.”
Just a couple of things. Please remember to be kind and patient 💖♬ original sound - Taco-Bout-Joys
“We’re all super tired, but it’s been very worth it,” she added.
She later shared a little background about the restaurant, explaining what makes it so unique.
Originally posted by my cousin but thought I should share here! There’s so much more to our story 💗♬ original sound - Taco-Bout-Joys
Joy, who’s Laotian, bonded with her mother-in-law, who hailed from Michoacán, Mexico, by learning traditional Mexican recipes. Their shared love of cooking broke any language barriers. Now, Joy blends both culinary traditions to create something new and honor both sides of the family.
“We all embrace our two cultures and food together as a family, and are so excited to be able to share that with you guys! Proud of my Lao-Mexican family,” Isabel wrote.
Thanks to the kindness of people—and the power of TikTok—a Christmas wish was granted. And now we all know a place we can go to get a delightful flavor fusion.