Just the words “Thanksgiving dinner” can strike fear into the hearts of the “kitchen challenged.” After all, there are romantic images of beautiful crispy brown turkeys, delicate pastry, and robust gravies and sauces plastered across the walls in nearly every supermarket, spread throughout those “women’s magazines” (thanks to Oprah and Martha), and flashing on TV.
In a city where conventional supermarkets and specialty markets like Whole Foods and PCC abound, what makes Mendoza’s Mercado so special? Mendoza’s secret ingredient is Sonia’s cooking – like “me abuela hizo” – “My grandmother made…”
In an effort to bring back a connection between small local producers and their wholesale customers, particularly by urban and land use planners, the concept of a “food hub” has been introduced. Or some would say, “re-introduced.”
Until the day comes when we can teleport physical products from one point to another, we will have to depend on distribution networks that include trains, planes, and automobiles (or trucks). You can download an e-book or a movie, but you just can’t download a shirt or dozen eggs.
Devon Peña, professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington, Seattle, interviews Sonia (Mendoza) and Carlos Cervantes about produce and prepared food sold in their market, Mendoza’s Mexican Mercado.
When it comes to deli meats and sausage, there is no substitution. George’s Sausage and Deli has its own smoker in the back of the shop where pork sausage and pork shoulder are cured. About a dozen types of meats are smoked, cured or jellied in-house, including kielbasa, Canadian bacon, three kinds of ham, pork shoulder, and kabanosy.
Devon Peña, professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington, Seattle, speaks about the importance of minority-owned businesses from Mendoza’s Mexican Mercado. Meet Sonia and …
In the face of daunting competition, an economic recession, and the unrelenting pressure by Walmart and other big box stores, small businesses continue to open and to flourish. Meet Sonia and Carlos, owners of Mendoza’s Mexican Mercado – they have the entrepreneurial drive that combines the old and the new to bring new flavors to cities like Seattle while at the same time providing familiar “food from home” for those relocated here from countries like Mexico. These family businesses are the “American Dream” – business ownership and community support.