Saranac Lake, NY — Devon LaPointe's decision to put off buying a car for years has finally paid off.
LaPointe, who works at Borracho Taco on Broadway, was recently given a 2017 Jeep Patriot that the Mexican restaurant won at a food show in Lake Placid earlier this month.
"This is my first vehicle," LaPointe said. "Buying a car is a large investment, so I was always like, 'Maybe someday I'll get myself a used beater.' I didn't expect to win a raffle and get a vehicle."
On April 4, LaPointe and his boss, taqueria owner Ryan Davis, attended the Renzi Foodservice show at the Olympic Center. Borracho gets its food from the Watertown-based supplier.
Davis said he and LaPointe saw the Jeep Patriot was being raffled off and decided to enter the drawing.
"We put in like seven tickets," Davis said. "The raffle goes to the business, not any specific person, but I had Devon put his name on all the tickets. So we put the tickets in and left the show. Later, the rep for Renzi calls me and tells me we won the car and that we should come back to claim it."
"I was a little shocked. I didn't believe it right away."
Davis said he called LaPointe to tell him the news.
"I kept telling him I was going to win the car," LaPointe said. "'We'd better come back to get my car.' I was saying that all day. Then when he called me, he's like, 'You just won the car.' I said, 'I told you we should have stayed there!'"
Davis picked up LaPointe, and they drove back to the show to claim their prize. The Patriot wasn't there by that point, but they posed for pictures with Renzi Foodservice employees while holding an oversized car key. Two weeks ago, the pair traveled to Watertown to pick up the car.
Asked if he had any thought of claiming the car for himself, since it technically was awarded to his business, Davis said no.
"I told him it's his if he wins it, and I stick to my word," Davis said. "It's a lot of money, but my word is my word. It's a little bit more valuable to me."
LaPointe said he hasn't had much need for a car since he lives downtown. Asked if he's now obligated to work at Borracho for a long period of time since his boss gave him a car, LaPointe smiled and said, "at least another six months."
Davis, a Paul Smith's College graduate, took over operation of Borracho from Adam Harris, his former boss who started the business, in July of last year.
Borracho has recently been undergoing some renovations. It has been pulled back to half of its former space, and the other half, currently covered by black plastic, is going to become a bookstore run by Davis' fiancee.