In 1985, Tafoya set his sights on opening a cookie business at Stapleton Airport, and decided to make a bid for space there. While he was not selected for a contract due to lack of experience, four years later, he successfully broke into the restaurant business when he purchased an Arvada Penguin’s Frozen Yogurt franchise in Arvada, Colorado.
After cutting his teeth in the restaurant business for nearly a decade, Tafoya opened Sara Lee Sandwich Shoppe and Colombo Yogurt in Denver International Airport (DIA), when it commenced operations in 1995. Soon after, Rod continued to grow at DIA and opened DIA’s first authentic Mexican restaurant, Que Bueno, the busiest Einstein Bros Bagels franchise location in the nation, and the highest grossing restaurant measured by sales at DIA, Timberline Steaks and Grille. Rod’s steady growth quickly led to different operations in other high traffic airports beyond Colorado, including San Diego and San Jose International Airports.