Mario Lopez Soto

I enjoy the Barrio.

Mario Soto-Anita

Interviewer: Vanessa Medeiros

When did you move to Barrio Anita?
I moved here to Barrio Anita two and a half years ago. That is when I moved here in my house. I bought the market in 1986, thirteen and a half years ago.

What changes did you make to the store?
Oh, I made lots of changes. I painted inside and outside of the market. I painted the outside white. I fixed and remodeled the inside. Now we make our tortillas in the big room.

Why did you select this location?
I had an opportunity to open a place up here in Barrio Anita, so my wife, Gracie, and I decided to take it. A year and a half later we decided we would try it out with handmade tortillas, so we did. We have seven employees, but we used to have nine. It was very difficult to get a loan from the bank for a small business back then.

Anita Street Truck

How many tortillas do you sell a day?
Monday through Thursday, we sell three hundred and fifty dozen a day; that's including restaurants. Friday and Saturday we sell four hundred and fifty dozen tortillas in all different sizes.

Does everyone in this barrio know you?
Yes, I think so. I know a lot of the kids. They are very nice and never give me trouble at all. Every day we see one or two new customers. We treat our customers good and are very friendly to them so they can come back. Our little store may be ugly, but honest.

What changes have you seen in the barrio?
I have seen remodeled houses. Davis School looks really nice, and the park has improved.

What changes would you like to see in the barrio?
I would like them to fix the streets and sidewalks. I plan to keep the store the same.

Anita Street Flying Tortilla

Do you plan to stay in the barrio?
Yes, I do plan on staying here in Barrio Anita. When I first owned the store I did not live in Barrio Anita, then my wife and I decided to move closer to the store. The store keeps me busy and out of trouble. I enjoy everything, I enjoy the barrio. I love living here.

Source: Mario Soto 7-10-99


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