Gulf Coast Store Serves Up Tastes of Mexico
Before heading off to work, Mario Avila eats a hearty meal at Lucio's Mundo Latino, a small shop tucked away in a weathered building in Waveland, Miss.
"We come here to eat Mexican food and drink something refreshing," Avila says. "When we eat here we don't miss Mexico as much."
Lucio Cano owns Mundo Latino. He lived in the coastal town of Pass Christian, Miss., and owned a Mexican restaurant there. Hurricane Katrina swept away the city and the restaurant, leaving him with nothing. So the entrepreneur moved into a FEMA trailer in Waveland and came up with this new business idea.
"We [saw] the Spanish community was moving to this area," Cano says. "I came up with a deal to open this Latin store to serve my people."
Mundo Latino is the first Latin-American food store in the Waveland and Bay St. Louis area. Business is steady, so Cano is already expanding his services to include money transfers, phone cards, telephones and a little warm food too. Cooking has been Cano's passion for more than 25 years.
Cano says it'll take three weeks, maybe more, before the city turns on the gas. Once that happens, he can cook on a larger industrial stove. Today, he's preparing chicken for the lunch crowd, but he says his customers, after a long day of tree-topping, sheetrocking and roofing, crave typical Mexican dishes.
"Oh, they want to eat, you know, the typical enchiladas, fajitas, chile reyenos," Cano says. "But you can't cook those meals in an electrical grill. In the meantime we have to do whatever we can."
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