Video Lupita expands, adds new deliWORTHINGTON — Piece by piece, Maria Parga has built Mini Market Lupita (formerly Video Lupita) from the small video store it was in the early ’90s to the well-known grocery and variety store it is today
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Piece by piece, Maria Parga has built Mini Market Lupita (formerly Video Lupita) from the small video store it was in the early ’90s to the well-known grocery and variety store it is today. She has waited 16 years to have a full kitchen in her East Avenue location, and now that dream is finally becoming a reality.
“I’m happy now because it’s what I wanted,” she said.
Through loans from local banks and assistance from the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Microenterprise Loan Program in addition to her own funding, Parga is in the process of expanding Video Lupita to include a full-service kitchen and deli that will offer a variety of Mexican cuisine.
The new deli will specialize in burritos made from homemade tortillas filled with fresh meats, vegetables and toppings.
“There was a time that we sold the burritos cold … but people don’t like them cold. Here, we can make them with tortillas we make ourselves,” explained Parga, who said she’s also excited to offer the crunchy tacos she used to sell in Mexico and freshly-baked bread.
“We also have carnitas (pork), chicharrones, which are things that people were always looking for,” she added.
Loan proceeds were used for the purchase of electrical and plumbing fixtures, equipment installation and working capital. Parga also benefits from SWIF’s Diverse Business Assistance program that provides technical business assistance in Spanish and English. She said the food warmers were purchased with loans from local banks, while the SWIF grant helped with construction costs and the purchase of an oven.
“(SWIF) helped me with the construction. There are a lot of costs involved. … It’s very expensive, very difficult. I never thought it would be so hard,” she said.
Even so, she’s glad to offer more services at her store that has become a neighborhood staple.
“People don’t see us as a business, we are like neighbors,” she said. “Many people come from other towns to look for things here.”
In 2006, Parga also added a meat department, and the new addition of a deli comes at the request of customers.
“Maria is always interested in meeting her customers’ requests,” said SWIF Microenterprise Program Officer Berny Berger. “She listens to them and serves their needs, which has lead to this expansion of her business. Maria is a true entrepreneur and an asset to the Worthington area.”