By Morgan Bryce
Enjoy authentic, handmade Mexican cuisine or shop through an entire grocery store filled with baked goods, fruit, meat and snacks found primarily in Central or South America at Opelika’s Fiesta Supermarket, located at 1904 Pepperell Parkway.
Opened July 26, the store is owned and operated by Jesus Santillanes and managed by his sister Maricela Rodriguez. Santillanes has more than 15 years of experience in the food business, and helped start the Durango location on Dean Road and La Plaza Taqueria Y Carniceria before opening Fiesta.
The space that now houses Fiesta was used as a furniture store and most recently as a dog-training academy, but had sat vacant for several years. Santillanes said he had seen the property on several visits to Opelika and saw its potential to house his combined taqueria, grocery store concept. After acquiring the property early last summer, he said the renovations and improvements took nearly a year and a half to complete.
Fiesta is replete with brightly painted walls and art representative of Hispanic culture with soft but upbeat Latin music playing in the background.
On the left-hand side of Fiesta is its taqueria, offering a number of classic Mexican dishes including gorditas, tacos and tostadas, among several others. Rodriguez said dishes are handmade and hold a deep meaning for her and her brother.
“A lot of the dishes here, our mom gave us the recipes for. We really like the tamales we make for example, but they still don’t taste as good as hers,” Rodriguez said laughingly. “We take a lot of pride in what we cook … prepare and serve here.”
The right-hand side of the business houses the grocery store, which boasts imported goods mostly from Mexico and Guatemala. In addition to the well-stocked grocery and produce aisles, there is a baked goods section, meat and seafood department and deep freezers stocked with soft drinks and tortillas, among other items.
Santillanes said a number of his customers consider the shop “a home away from home,” and that he is always working with his customers to ensure that his store is stocked with desirable items.
“I had a lady in here from Peru who was asking if I could supply certain snacks and other items like peppers here that could be found in Peru. I have people from (other places) ask too and I’ll talk with my suppliers to see about getting that in the store,” Santillanes said. “I really enjoy hearing customers say how much they enjoy the food, and we’ve been getting good reviews online since we opened which is really good.”
Currently, Fiesta’s hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Monday.
For more information, call 334-203-1311 or like and follow the business’s Facebook page.