Remember as a kid you bought a gallon of milk or a dozen of eggs (or in my case – “tamales,” my mom would make me buy the feminine products for my sisters, that is what they called them as they kinda resembled them), from your local tiendita in your neighborhood? Visiting your local tiendita was a treat pretty much all the time (except when buying the “tamales!”). You would run into your friends and sometimes your non-friends (bullies). In my case, it was a delight going to our local tiendita, because the spare change that I had, I would purchase a candy or two.
These days, several of these local tienditas don’t exist due to low sales and hardly any profit – or due to construction of bigger and better buildings. But, these local tienditas was a hangout for many. A place to catch up on the latest chisme or gossip/news. Even the store owners knew you by your first name. Some of these tienditas probably had a small bakery in the back of the store. As you entered, you could smell the fresh aroma of conchas or even doughnuts being made. Yes, the good ole days!
The local tienditas and even the larger stores such as Kmart, Payless, Toys R’ Us, and several others have gone away! Que lastima! Fast forward and you see these behemoth online stores – Amazon, Walmart.com, and several others. These smaller brick and mortar stores have been replaced by online shopping stores that are making megabucks in terms of revenue and profits!
Gone are the small tienditas owned by the Garcias, Lopez’s, and other Hispanic surname families. Yes, I do remember a few of these local stores being owned by an Asian family as well. With an online store, there are a few disadvantages:
- no place to hangout and chat with your neighborhood friends
- no aroma of freshly made conchas
- no traditon or culture
- no nickle or dime products to buy
But, the advantages of making online purchases are:
- quick and easy ordering
- delivery to your door
- bigger selection of products to choose from
- plus many others
While some tienditas still exist today, it is imperative to give these local stores a few of your hard earned Franklins and Lincolns! We would certaintly like to keep these traditions going in todays world – a complex world of broken or no traditions being passed on to the younger generations. Sure, spend some money at your favorite online stores (such as myfiesta.market), but, don’t forget your local tienditas – they need to be around for our kids sake!