Nevada is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month through Oct. 15 so it’s the ideal time to start supporting local Latino-owned businesses – and a practice worth continuing year-round.
Business is booming for Latinos and Latinas in both Southern and Northern Nevada with Hispanic Americans owning nearly 20 percent of the state’s businesses.
“Small business is the backbone of every thriving community,” said Peter Guzmán, President of the Latin Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas. “We must embrace that and keep our dollars in our communities”.
“You know there’s probably an incredible story behind it of how they got to where they are today,” said Áviles. “It also shows us that it’s possible and we can do it ourselves. We also continue to grow generational wealth and opportunities for our families.”
Seeing the success of the local Latin community is both a motivation and inspiration for a “salvadoreña” small business owner and consultant Ericka Áviles, founder of Las Vegas networking group Latinas in Power.
SW Marketing & Consulting owner Jessica Jordan-Tabares agreed. Born in Lima, Perú, she noted that Nevada’s Hispanic community is a melting pot of loyal, family-oriented people and cultures from around the world. Do business with a Latino today, she said, “and you’ll gain a supportive group of people for life.”
Ready to show your support, but not sure where to start? Here are some new and established Latino-owned businesses in Southern and Northern Nevada.
La Bonita Supermarkets
Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson
With its eighth supermarket opening in 2024, La Bonita started out as a small “carnicería” in 1991. The owners, Michoacán natives Jaime and Silvia Martínez, named the store for a dairy cow from the Mexican ranch where Jaime grew up. With low prices and high quality food, the market has become a powerhouse chain of Hispanic grocery stores with juice bars, tortillerías, panaderías, taquerías, groceries and produce.
Makers and Finders
Las Vegas and Henderson
The son of Colombian immigrants, Josh Molina, opened Makers & Finders in the Las Vegas 18b Arts District in 2014 with a menu featuring some of Latin America’s most popular dishes and handcrafted coffee from a specialty latte menu. With sit down and to-go dining, the upbeat, urban cafe has since expanded to three other locations, including a small space inside AREA 15.
A thrift shop with a retro-boho vibe, BM Vintage sells second-hand items handpicked from local thrift stores, yard sales and estate sales by Latina owner Diana Valdez and her mom, María. Along with the “previously loved” items, as Valdez calls them, the store sells several unique pieces of refurbished wood furniture, like tables and dressers; all finished and painted by Valdez herself.
Aroma Latin American Cocina
Fusing Guatemalan, Cuban and Peruvian flavors, Aroma Latin American Cocina comes from Guatemala-born Chef Steve Kesler, formerly of iconic Las Vegas Strip restaurants like Bazaar Meat by José Andrés and Chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro. This cozy and creative cocina’s dishes, like chicken tinga chilaquiles, vegan ceviche, and a gaucho sandwich, are thoughtfully prepared and beautifully presented.
Fernando García, a third-generation paleta maker and his wife Mayra Arana, ranked No. 4 on Yelp’s 2023 Top 100 US ice cream shops for their charming shop, La Paleta. Fernando and Mayra make their 24 flavors of creamy and fruity, dairy-free paletas (Mexican popsicles) from scratch. They also sell aguas frescas, elotes, tres leches cake and ice cream in a variety of classic and specialty flavors, including queso. Located near Rhodes Ranch, the cozy and comfortable ice cream and snack shop is a favorite for people of all ages, especially families.
Mandala Massage Supply and Apothecary
Located on Vassar Street in Reno’s Wells Avenue business district, Mandala Massage Supply and Apothecary is a woman-owned aroma and apothecary shop with wellness products like pure essential oils, massage oils, salts, clays, creams and lotions. The store carries all things necessary, including bottles and containers, to create your own aromatherapy remedies. As a zero-waste shop, products are sold in bulk and shoppers are encouraged to buy and bring back or bring their own bottles for refills.
The Lady Tamales
Carson City and Dayton
Fidelina Suarez opened The Lady Tamales in Carson City in 2003 and has since opened a second location about 15 minutes away in Dayton. As KUNR Public Radio recently reported, Suarez learned to cook in her mother’s restaurant in Michoacán, México and uses her mother’s recipes for The Lady Tamales menu, which includes traditional Mexican dishes and, of course, tamales.
When Víctor Valdez started Precision Diamonds in 1988, the store was a kiosk in a mall. Now it’s a stand-alone jewelry store and diamond dealer on Virginia Street, just down the street from the Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa. Family-owned for 34 years, the jewelry store sells gold and diamond wedding bands and engagement rings as well as other fine jewelry from designers like Gabriel & Co, Zeghani and S. Kashi. Precision Diamonds also offers jewelry restoration, resizing and repair services.
Kown for a variety of little cravings, family-owned Antojitos Colibri ranked No. 18 on Yelp’s Top 100 Ice Cream Shops for 2023. The menu features healthy and indulgant Mexican fruit snacks like gazpacho, corn and fruit as well as aguas frescas like the shaved ice, orange juice and tamarind candy-inspired Diablito or the Red Bull and mango Red Bullet slushy, plus lots of ingredients to mix and match. To top that all off, there’s ice cream and milkshakes; even a banana split.
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