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Mercado El Valle recently opened in Sherwood at 7725 Warden Road. It is a bigger and better version of the previous store from the Lopez family, who are longtime residents of the area and know a thing or two about running a successful business.
“Growing up in Sherwood, we did not have a place where we could grab our favorite tortillas, pan dulce, spices, and homemade tamales. My family wanted to showcase to all of Sherwood and surrounding areas the amazing foods we have to offer, so we opened Mercado El Valle in the summer of 2015. When we decided to expand with a bigger store in this new location, we wanted to make sure it was still within the Brookswood exit. That exit is one of the main entrances to Sherwood,” says CEO of Mercado El Valle, Abraham Lopez.
What is different about the new location? Just about everything. For starters, it is a full-blown grocery store, complete with everything under the sun in a space that dwarfs the original store. But it doesn’t stop there.
“What separates us from other mercados is our variety of goods and services. We carry products from all of Central and Latin America,” says Lopez.
The renovated building formerly housed a bank but now is home to a butcher shop, panaderia, an area for money transactions, and a hot bar for folks looking for breakfast and lunch options.
“Our breakfast hot bar will serve dishes like huevos con chorizo and nopales con huevos. We’ll also have a build-your-own-taco bar for a fast but homemade breakfast. For lunch, we will have 8-10 cooked dishes, along with rice, beans, pico de gallo, and homemade corn and flour tortillas. This will be a cafeteria concept.”
I can already vouch for the chicken tinga and carnitas, as well as refried beans and rice. Lopez touts the store as having the largest bean selection in Arkansas, and the aforementioned meat counter is also a source of pride.
“Our butcher shop will carry a variety of marinated meats, fish and poultry, as well as prime meats for those at-home grill masters.”
The store is open daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and as you’ll quickly realize, El Valle is a true family affair. Abraham’s brother-in-law, Ramon, is the CFO. His wife, Claudia, and sister, Miriam, help out in a variety of areas, while brothers Samuel and Miguel assist with the market and banking, respectfully. Then there are his parents, Ama and Pa, who know the business better than anyone and will have a strong presence.
“We are more than excited to continue our journey in Sherwood. This town has given our family so much, and we want to repay it by providing a wonderful shopping experience,” says Lopez.
I have already been twice and can tell you it truly is a wonderful spot. It’s time to find out for yourself.
Mercado El Valle
7725 Warden Road1 (Sherwood)
Hours: Open Daily 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
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