For anyone I know who's lived or been in Mexico, it's very easy to start talking about all the wonderful things they experienced in that country. Whether it's its food, people, wonderful beaches, music, etc. there's never a shortage of good memories and experiences. It usually has the effect of making you feel you want to go back.
For those of us who lived in Mexico for enough time, it was likely very easy to get used to many of the little things that made life great - the food, the humor, the candid, open conversations with people from all aspects of life, whether it was family, school friends, co-workers. People in Mexico have a gift of making you feel welcome, even when your not from around. So much so that, even when you're traveling outside of Mexico and bump into a Mexican, a simple "where in Mexico are you from?" question can spark a long conversation amongst strangers.
When you travel around Mexico, and go from one small town to the next - there's something about the food that makes it taste so different and yet it all amalgamates in one coherent, yet amazingly diverse culinary world that's Mexican food. From the many different kinds of mole and salsas, to the rich deserts and candies available from the most humble mom & pop shop or changarro, to the most fancy new-cuisine restaurant.
Having lived in the US for the past many years, it's always exciting to find a place with Mexican products - whether it's the small taco-truck in the nearby gas-station or the supermarket that sells tortillas similar to those you use to buy from the local tortilleria (lacking, of course, the gum-chewing marchanta who packs and sells them). However, I always get left with the feeling of wanting more, but has nothing to do with quantity... it's about an special 'something' that's lacking - and it's really hard to explain what that 'something' is, but I think it has to do with authenticity. Whether it's the flavor of a real Mexican salsa or the doble-sentido in a well delivered joke, it's about the little things that make you feel a little closer to home.
This is what's behind Shoptezuma. The belief that there's a gap out there, where people who love Mexican culture (whether they're Mexican or not) are still looking for the 'real thing', not just the average conception of what most people believe to be Mexican. Lo autentico. And so I've embarked on this journey to build a place where you can find it - the one place where you go and find that little one thing that will take you, even if it's just for a second, a meal, a day, closer to Mexico.
This is not a small task though, and like with many great paths, you have to start somewhere. If you ever lived in Monterrey, N.L. chances are you tried the locally famous Salsa del Primo - a rich, hot, flavorful product that many locals enjoy with their carne asada. It's one product I've always asked for on this side of the border, and was never able to find - and I'm not alone. Any time one of my regio friends go back to Mexico, it is almost certain they will bring a small bottle back to the US. Few products are instantly recognizable as true Mexican like salsa, and this is one that generates loyal fans. Add a little sweet with the traditional Mexican obleas, and, why not, a little Mexican humor you can wear with pride, and you have a great start.
More things will come in the future, we are already working to bring more authentic, hard-to-find-in-the-US products you can enjoy, without the need to travel back to Mexico. If you want to hear more, you can sign up for news and alerts, or you can also give us your feedback by filling out this short survey.
Thanks for visiting!
Horacio Ochoa | Founder & Jefe | Shoptezuma.com