The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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SCTV 11/22/23
November 27, 2023

Indianola community welcome La Tiendita

Alondra Valdivia welcomes anyone and everyone to her family’s new store: La Tiendita.

On the corner of North Jefferson Way and East Euclid Avenue, you can now find Alondra and Moisés Valdivia’s new Mexican convenience store: La Tiendita, which translates to “small store.” 

The store, which officially opened on Sept. 11 of this year, is the product of many months of long hours, late nights and intricate planning. 

“The process was very long. I think it took us three to four months to officially open from the day we got the place,” Alondra Valdivia said. “The city has a lot of regulations you have to follow, you have to make the space work, you have to find the right companies to get all your products from, so it’s hard work. It took a lot of phone calls and a lot of stress, but we finally did it.”

Although they also run Las Flores, a Mexican restaurant here in Indianola, La Tiendita is a special place for the Valdivia family and the Latino community of Indianola. 

“We have several workers at the restaurant who are Hispanic, and they try to find Hispanic products around here, but in Indianola, you can’t really find much,” Valdivia said. “There are a few things at Walmart, but there isn’t a lot, and most of us had to drive to Des Moines to find what we wanted. So, we thought a store like this could be beneficial.”

The shelves are now filled with new options for the community, including Mexican snacks, drinks, food and authentic ingredients you can’t find anywhere else in town. 

“A lot of the seasonings and spices and things like that are items I would use in my own household, or that Hispanic people would use. Through the store, we get to bring Hispanic culture to Indianola,” Valdivia said. “There are a lot of people in Indianola who have never been into a Mexican grocery store, so we’re bringing that experience to the community. We have parents who will bring in their little ones so they get to experience another culture, and they can find things they wouldn’t find at a Walmart or Hy-Vee.” 

Not only has the store brought back strong connections and fond memories of Alondra’s youth in Mexico, but it has also given her a chance to explore a part of her culture she hasn’t had access to. 

“There are items in the store I have never had before. Some of the drinks we have are from Central America, so I’ve now been able to try [them] for the first time,” she said. “There is a lot of new candy I hadn’t seen before as well because I moved to the U.S. when I was 11. I grew up in Mexico until then, but there are a lot of new things I haven’t had the chance to try until now.”

Despite all these new products the Indianola community now has access to, there is an aspect of the store even more important to the Valdivia’s — even more than the best snack on their shelves.

“We do a money exchange called Intermex, so through our store, people can send money to other countries. A lot of people come to the U.S. to work so they can send money back to their home countries. Usually, they have to go to a special place to do that, but now a lot of people can come here to do that instead,” Valdivia said. 

Outside of running these two successful businesses, the Valdivia’s also run a busy household raising a six-year-old and a two-year-old. 

“We have little ones at home, so it’s been hard creating a new routine for them because my husband and I are always here or at the restaurant. So we have been trying to make something work for the family,” Valdivia said. “But they’re business babies. They are at the restaurant all the time, or they’re here all the time, and they love the store. They especially like to tell their friends they have a store, and they will bring snacks for lunch and tell their friends they got it at their store. They do really well with it.” 

The Valdivia’s are always ready to take on more, and within their already packed schedule, they also plan to add a lunch hour to the store in the next few months. A big goal of theirs is to utilize the drive-thru window by providing tacos, burritos, quesadillas and tortas. 

With new additions coming soon, you can follow all the latest updates, specials and deals through their Facebook page: La Tiendita Indianola.

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Chloe Peck, News Editor

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