Toto’s Tacoz: Existing Business of the Year

On March 14, Toto’s Tacoz!  was given the Existing Business of the Year Award for Washburn University KSBDC. Congratulations, Toto’s. We are very proud of you!


I remember when Toto’s Tacoz! first opened in 2005 and several of my friends were making regular trips from Manhattan to Wamego to go to this quirky, new, tiny, Oz-themed, family-friendly eatery that was selling California-style Mexican food.  Intrigued, I had to give the place a try. It was great fun! In fact, I featured Toto’s in my business’s newsletter as a restaurant that I thought my customers would enjoy. That was when I first made the acquaintance of owner, Craig Lord.

Fast forward a number of years: Toto’s Tacoz! has since moved to a larger location, I have taken a position as Business Advisor with WU’s center for the Kansas SBDC, and I inherit Toto’s as a client. I was thrilled to become reacquainted with Craig and to have the opportunity to be working with him.

Craig is passionate about great quality in his restaurant – in the food, in the customer experience, and in the leadership and financial management of the business. I think that it is fair to say that it is Craig’s passion for making sure that everything is the best that he can make it that brought him to the Kansas SBDC, has kept him a client for 12 years, and made him so great to work with. His dedication and enthusiasm for the everything about the business are also what makes Toto’s Tacoz! such a valued part of its community.

Of course, as the saying goes, behind every great man there is a woman, and Craig’s wife Colleen is the artist responsible for the Oz-and-Ocean murals and beachy-Kansas décor at Toto’s that create its unique atmosphere. I know that Craig would consider me remiss if I did not acknowledge Colleen’s contributions. So, well-done to both of you, Craig and Colleen!

Toto's - Colleen Lord, Laura Kelly and Craig Lord 2

(photo: Colleen Lord, Senator Laura Kelly, Dorothy, Craig Lord)

— And just in case you are wondering, my personal favorite is the Guaco Taco!

Let me also give kudos to the Advisors who preceded me in my position out of WU and worked with Craig before me. Thank you for letting me ride on your coattails in taking the Lords and Toto’s Tacoz! to the E3 awards. Great job team!

Laurie Pieper, Ph.D.
Business Advisor
America’s SBDC Kansas
Washburn University

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