Monday, January 15, 2007

Yeah Susana!

Here is an article written in the Fayettville Observer Newspaper (North Carolina). The Prietos mentioned are my good friends...Susana in fact being my best friend! I'm so excited to see their coffee shop open so I can get tortilla de patata! So if any of you are ever near Fort Bragg, NC stop in and have a great cup of coffee! I bet if you were to ask for a Raquel Mocha they would make you a great Coconut Mocha!
Published on Sunday, January 14, 2007

Shopping center caters to Hispanic crowd
By Jennifer PlotnickStaff writer

Seemingly by accident, a shopping center in northwest Fayetteville is starting to cater to Hispanics.

The four Hispanic business owners at 500 N. Reilly Road’s Bragg Shopping Center are thrilled to have loyal Spanish-speaking customers. But they also want the English-speaking mainsteam to learn about their businesses — especially as a new one gets ready to open.

Originally from Spain, Jose “Pepe” and Juana Prieto own the center, said their adult daughter, Susana Prieto.They opened Pepe’s Wood Carving in the center five years ago. Since then, two more Hispanic businesses — Sabor Latino and La Borinquena — opened.

The Prieto family plans to open another business by mid-February called Cafe Espana. The cafe will feature coffee and pastries from Spain.

The center’s businesses already receive a lot of driveby traffic as people head to Fort Bragg. The Prietos hope those passersby turn into customers and experience flavors they haven’t tried before, said Susana, who will run the coffee shop.

“We’ll have stuff that will appeal to everybody, but we’ll introduce them to new flavors too,” she said.

As it finishes construction, Cafe Espana is importing a churro machine to make “authentic Spanish churros,” Prieto said. And for lunches, customers will be able to try a tortilla de patata (potato omlet).

“It’s a very common lunch and dinner item,” she said. “Every Spaniard knows how to make it.”
The cafe will also serve espresso and other specialty coffee drinks, pastries, muffins and American sandwiches and soups.

Plans include stocking specialty meats and cheeses. Later in the spring, Prieto hopes to offer outside seating similar to what customers would see at a traditional European cafe.
Pepe’s Wood Carving is next door to Cafe Espana.

The Prietos first opened Pepe’s in Georgia in the 1970s and opened a second location near Fort Bragg once it started receiving frequent orders from Fort Bragg.

Susana’s sister and brother-in-law still run the Georgia location, which handles the large custom orders. At the local shop, the business has evolved into mostly laser-engraved plaques, although large wood-carving orders are still accepted.

“We do a lot of custom work,” Susana Prieto said.

Around the corner, Sabor Latino offers cuisine native to Dominican Republic and other Caribbean nations.

La Borinquena used to be a grocery store, and now its filled with pool tables and games.
Clustering stores that appeal to the same customers is smart marketing, said Rosimar Melendez, director of the Women’s Business Center.

It’s why shopping malls with stores that sell similar goods are effective, Melendez said. Customers will browse in all.

“It’s a one-stop concept,” she said.

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