Feliz Navidad Amigos!

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There have been many changes in the leadership structure at El Burrito Mercado, our family business of 35years. Succession is in progress, and as of now, I am flowing into what has traditionally been my mothers leadership role, and they are BIG shoes to fill.  There are many challenges that I am experiencing during this process, and I welcome it all. I appreciate the challenges and have learned to embrace that a family business, none the less a unique niche family business, we create our own path, there isn’t another business out there like ours, and while it is risky and challenging, it’s extremely invigorating for me!

This is my first year that I am the in the ‘hot seat’ leadership role during our heaviest time of the year, tis the holidays for grocery retail!  It feels like I haven’t stopped since Thanksgiving with our Tamaladas, preparations and ordering for masa/tamales, nacimientos, pernil, carnes de puerco, etc!  There is no way all this gets done without strong, organized leaders in each department and I am so happily impressed with them.

We still make our tamales by hand, we buy the mixed corn masa base but prepare it ourselves then package and put on the shelves. Our kitchen is not a big commercial kitchen, when my parents moved into this building 19years ago, I don’t think they imagined the growth we’d experience, we have clearly outgrown the kitchen, cooler, freezers space! In spite of, our kitchen crew make miracles happen in that little approximate 30’x40′ kitchen, it’s “the little kitchen that could’! To give you an idea of just how much masa production we do – by scratch, by hand- in one day, 250lb of special order masa, this means people call in and order their masa in advance, this excludes the masa that is also packaged and sold off the grab n go shelves, easily another 200lb.  I am always so in awe by our hard working and committed kitchen crew!

I never take this business for granted, I stay focused on the vision, and I try to drive our team to also stay focused.  I am so grateful for the Minnesota Latino community that has come to support our business during the years, and that we have been able to provide them foods from their countries, that during this time of year can be very nostalgic. And my passion for diversity and sharing about our culture is fueled by Minnesota’s non-Latinos that also have come to embrace our business and Mexican food! Growing up in Minnesota I am witness to the changes in the demographic and cultural impact on diversity in Minnesota.  We are no where near that I hope and dream it to someday be, but I am motivated by the changes.

This Christmas I am just ever so grateful for the blessing of our family business, the support and encouragement of our customers, employees, and community!

With all my love, FELIZ NAVIDAD!

Milissa

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