bake - June 2018 - pan - 41


1979, with mostly street smarts and plenty of vision and
faith, they took over a small 800-square-foot market and
converted it to El Burrito Mercado. Offering only dry
Mexican groceries and tortillas, one cash register, and
a van in which Tomas would use on weekends to go to
Chicago to load up on merchandise.
 What started as a tiny market to meet basic Mexican
grocery needs for the Hispanic community has become a
destination in the heart of westside St. Paul. In 1995 Tomas
and Maria ventured to move into a 13,000-square-foot
building across the street to its current location.
Her bakery business is stronger than ever, thanks to
a popular catering menu that includes authentic breads
and traditional pastries from Mexico. "We have amazing
bakers," Silva-Diaz says, citing their longtime head baker
Antonio Ocadio, who is originally from Guadalajara. "We
want to bring our customers a taste of home. We are very
happy with the growth of our business."
El Burrito Mercado is truly a unique business because
it offers so many experiences in one marketplace in a
beautifully decorated location, it's adorned with the
items they annually handpick from vendors in Mexico
and sell in the market.
The foodservice side of the business is the fastest
and most consistent growing area of the business. The
deli features authentic grab-and-go dinners, full service

deli with salads, heat and eat foods, and more than
a dozen salsas. El Cafe y Bar Restaurant features four
unique dining experiences: cafeteria style, dine-in full
service, buffet/brunch, and outdoor patio.





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