Let's Go Shopping
I took mi novia to a Hispanic grocery store the other day and was pleasantly surprised to find service there that was superior to the type I've encountered at non-Hispanic grocery stores. Clerks who actually wait on you. Who perform price checks. Who don't encourage you to check out and bag your own groceries. Wow! How come you rarely see this at so-called “American” grocery stores any more?
Add to that the fact that I was able to buy mi novia an agua fresca to drink while we shopped, find foods like cajeta and carnitas that one rarely finds in most non-Hispanic grocery stores, buy fresh vegetables for our dinner together, and then buy her flowers to boot... Hey, it's a shame she and I don't go to stores like this more often.
It would be nice to pretend that this store was part of the Carnival Store chain since that chain appears to have experiencing a bit of controversy right now over their plans to open a store in the local suburb of Farmers Branch. But actually it was a Fiesta Mart.
But that's okay. I've been inside the Carnival Store in Plano, and while it doesn't quite have the same selection as Fiesta Mart, it was still a lot better than one would expect from all the negative publicity they have been receiving in Farmers Branch.
Yes, I know. I'm Mexican-American, so naturally I'm going to be biased toward this chain. But as a friend noted, it's not just Mexicans or Latinos who shop at these type of stores. The same friend noted that she has seen a lot of Indians and Southeast Asians shopping for vegetables in these stores because the selection is so good and the prices so reasonable.
No, I don't work for either chain, and I'd rather not play pitchman for anyone. But I can't help but wonder whether the fact that I've put off going to a Fiesta Mart for so long has anything to do with the notion in our country that anything that appeals so obviously to Hispanics has to have something wrong with it.
I've never thought of myself as a self-hating Hispanic. If anything, I'm all too prone to emphasize my Hispanic heritage and, as one Latina co-worker once put it, “wave the Mexican flag.” But experiences like this do make me wonder what else I've been missing out on because I pay too much attention to what other people think.
As for the folks in Farmers Branch... If they don't want a store like Carnival or Fiesta Mart in their neighborhood, that's their loss.
Labels: Comida, Dallas, De Compras, Hispanas y Hispanos, Mi Vida, Supermercados