MOSES LAKE — The sounds of a Mariachi filled the air from a local radio station set up for the grand opening at 723 Third Ave. Trucks and cars honked as they drove by, hands waving out the window at the crowd gathering in the parking lot.
After weeks of preparation, Lupe Madrigales was finally ready to open Mi Casa Market. Madrigales is originally from Mazatlan, Mexico and has lived in Moses Lake 33 years. Mi Casa Market is the next step in his business ventures and a logical one in that he owns Three Tacos Mi Casa Restaurants in Moses Lake. He can now supply his restaurants, as well provide a market service to the community.
“I’ve been buying supplies from Seattle, California and Tri-Cities, so I thought I might as well open the store myself and keep it local,” Madrigales said. “The store has a wide variety, anything from meats to spices and vegetables.
“It’s not just for the Mexican community, we have something for everybody. We try to buy local vegetables and buy local as much as we can because we want their support and we want to support (the Columbia Basin).”
The 5,000 square foot building is spacious enough, he says, but still small enough to maintain a family atmosphere. Mi Casa Market employees 11 people from cashiers to the loading dock. Like the carefully selected products he has for sale in the market, the people he has running his operation are just as important, Madrigales said.
“I try and help people get job,” he said. “We want to keep people working and I try to hire locally if I can. People need jobs and really important, people need jobs.”
The idea, as in any business venture, is to provide the community what it wants and needs in its local market. Helpful customer service, pricing, putting local people to work, Madrigales is not just supplying his restaurants with his market, he’s making his community better.
“(The previous business) was the same thing. In the end, I’m trying to make it better,” he said. “I try to use different ways. I try to keep my purchases local. Right now, all my vegetables are coming from California.”
Customers won’t see handmade tortillas pressed right there at the grill like they will at the Tacos Mi Casa restaurants. But all the sauces at the store are handmade.