Mi Pueblito Market and Café
13 Jan 2020
When Jose Hernandez and Maria Chavez De Garcia planned to open a Hispanic Market in downtown Long Prairie, they turned to NCEDA in partnership with R5DC to help make their dream a reality.
R5DC Regional Development Planner and Long Prairie community member, Dawn Espe, shares, “Long Prairie has one less vacant store front since the market opened its doors, giving residents culturally diverse downtown dining and shopping options and making it easier for other industries to attract employees, and drawing people to our small town.”
Jose Hernandez’s brothers also work in the business; Euogio (Geo) does the butchering and will also be involved with cooking in the café that they plan to open soon. Javier works in the market, and also has close ties with the Agua Gorda Cooperative.
The brothers are among Long Prairie’s Hispanic immigrant population that has grown from 1 percent of the city’s population in 1990 to one-third of the town’s population today. A two-fold boost to the local economy that comes with both population and economic growth with new Americans, Long Prairie’s Hispanic population is a micro-chasm consistent with national Hispanic growth trends in rural communities.
A local meat processing plant first attracted many people from the community of Agua Gorda in the Mexican state of Michoacan. Many are building businesses alongside their Anglo neighbors, investing in the community. The Agua Gorda Cooperative, a set of Hispanic farmers who started with garden plots at a local church, now owns a 54 - acre parcel of land on the edge of town, in addition to farming 5 certified acres leased from the city.
NCEDA, in partnership with R5DC, continues to provide industry expertise from its private sector led, non-governmental members for community development and lending programs to enhance the quality and vitality of life in Todd, Wadena, Morrison, Crow Wing and Cass counties.