Most parents avoid hide-and-seek at the grocery store, but Erin and Francisco Penaloza think it’s a great way to distract 3-year-old Penelope while stocking shelves and helping customers at their store, Super Mercado El Jalisco.
Open since November, their mom-and-pop Mexican supermarket is a first for the area.
“Livonia never had anything like this, with authentic spices and ingredients,” Erin says. “A lot of people know what they are looking for, but some ask what would be best for chili, or what they need for certain dishes.”
And Penalozas are happy to help. They stock the same Mi Costenita-brand spices their family uses in their own cooking, like chile arbol, chile guajillo, chile ancho and piloncillo – aka Mexican sugar cane.
You’ll also find El Milagro tortillas, chips and tostadas, Jarritos sodas and fresh tamales delivered weekly. For special occasions try the rosca de reyes, a Spanish pastry that is usually shared on Dec. 12 to celebrate Lady of Guadalupe day.
Erin hopes that her two children with Francisco – Geovani 1, and Penelope – and her daughter Isabella, 13, retain the customs of her husband’s home state of Jalisco, Mexico, from the celebrations to the traditional dishes.
She hopes their parents’ entrepreneurial spirit will make an impression, too. “I really hope they see that if they put their mind to something they can achieve it. No matter how big or small their dreams, they should follow them.”
Super Mercado El Jalisco is located at 16725 Middlebelt Road in Livonia, and is opened 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
For more information call 734-744-6892 or visit them on Facebook.