Carmel Magazine

Summer l Fall 2013

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040 Icon Ray Retez_Carmel Mag 7/27/13 4:53 PM Page 1 icon Ray Retez Restaurateur, Family Man and Lotto Playing Partner " W e're partners now." Ray Retez says those words as he presses a Mega Millions Quick Pick ticket into your hand. He does that 20 times a day, seven days a week at The Whole Enchilada, The Moss Landing Inn, The Lighthouse Harbor Grill and the Whole Enchilada Marketplace, the businesses he owns, arrayed along Highway 1 in Moss Landing. It's something he's done for 15 years. "The tickets are a great icebreaker," Retez says. "It costs just a dollar, but it immediately converts that person from a stranger to a friend." Not that this gregarious guy needs Lotto tickets to buy friends. He's a natural at the hospitality business. He might sell food and libations, but he knows he's actually in the people business. Making them happy, having them come back and telling their friends about this cool guy in Moss Landing is his number one priority. "I have a world audience here," Retez says, refer- ring to the fact that a steady stream of visitors from every corner of the globe beats a path to his door. He treats all with respect, as evidenced by the fact that the more than 40 people Retez employs tend to stay with him—some for close to 30 years. "We've been really fortunate in that regard," he says. At 84, he has no plans of slowing down. He can be seen just about every day, tooling around Moss Landing on his bicycle between his businesses and The Haute Enchilada, owned by his daughter Kim Solano. "I live for now, not for yesterday or tomorrow," Retez says. That philosophy keeps him sharp and focused. Oh, and those Lotto tickets? Retez estimates he's won around $40,000 over the years with his "partners." Odds are he's won more than twice that number in new friends. 40 Photo: Kelli Uldall — Michael Chatfield C ARMEL MAGAZINE•SUMMER/FALL 2013

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