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El Mercado Latino

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The sweet aroma of conchas (a traditional Mexican sweet bread) is a welcoming distraction while shopping for groceries at El Mercado Latino in Lakewood. More than likely one of these treats is prepared by Roberto the in house baker — baked goods that rarely make it home in one piece — easily devoured on the drive home. Other than bread, there is a fine selection of meats, vegetables and other assorted merchandise neatly arranged in the aisles of this popular Latino market.

The market has been in business for 13 years. It is operated by Rubiel Bossa and his wife, Claudia. Rubiel has been with the Mercado for approximately 12 years, his wife only one, but they seem just as enthusiastic as if it were their first day on the job. The professionalism, attentiveness and attention to detail of the staff are superb. They offer sales on most weekends and during special holidays.  

El Mercado Latino has another location in Auburn, but the one in Lakewood has become a landmark for the local American and Latin American communities.

“Most of our clientele, I would say about 80 percent, are Mexican,” says Bossa. “We do, however, cater in small amounts to other Latin American customers, such as Argentines and Colombians,” he adds.

Before leaving, I decided to walk down the pristine aisles stocked by Oscar and find some hidden treasures. Bingo! I knew I was in the right place when I spotted the Yerba Mate. It is the same brand my mother would serve to me as a kid in Argentina, my country of birth.

[El Mercado Latino, daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., 10816 Pacific Hwy., Lakewood, 253.584.0326]


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