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El Mexicano #3 joins community

Will Collin/Daily Globe Efain Patino joins his fellow butchers, showing off their wide variety of meats: from lamb and goat to seafood and pork. From front to back: Patino, Eric Contreras, and Rauel Sanchez.

WORTHINGTON -- The hustle and bustle of downtown Worthington has gotten a little more exciting and a little more diverse with the addition of a third ethnic grocery market.

Right next to Asian Top Foods, El Mexicano #3 has been open for business since the first of July.

"We really like our location," said Efain Patino, owner of the shop, "It's nice to have a downtown grocery store so all of the locals who can't drive have a place nearby they can go to."

But El Mexicano isn't only seeing business from license-lacking customers.

"We're really impressed with how much business we've gotten. You would think we were the only grocery store in town or something," Patino joked.

With two other locations (hence the "#3") in Storm Lake, Iowa and Denison, Iowa, Patino knows what he's doing.

"My brother opened the first El Mexicano in Denison 17 years ago and the second in Storm Lake 11 years ago," he explained. "I've been helping him out for a long time and it's about time I run the show myself."

Although he's the owner, you'll find Patino helping out his employees wherever he's needed -- he is partial to the meat counter however.

"I like cutting meat, and that's a big selling point for our store," Patino said, "We chose Worthington partly because some of the meats we offer are hard to come by around here."

El Mexicano's meat counter includes exotic cuts, including lamb, but also familiar meats such as beef and pork.

"We are our own butchers, so whatever meat you want, whatever cut you want, we can do it for you."

With products such as Kleenex, cookies, plastic cups, bunuelos, and alcoholic beverages, El Mexicano has everything any party or any family could need.

"We don't cater, but we've sold single orders of over 300 pounds of meat a couple times already, but we do much more than that -- we want to make sure we appeal to the local families that keep stores like us open," Patino said.

Following the three "goods" that make a grocery store prosper and progress, Patino said, "At this store we make sure we have good prices, good service, and good quality. We also take a lot of pride in keeping the place clean."

Finding the place spotless is hard to do though, since it's hard to get a glimpse of the floor between all of their customers' feet.

"We're really excited, especially me, to have this store become a part of the community," Patino said.