Solis family rallies around La Paloma

FAIRMONT – La Paloma opened its doors Monday as the newest market in Fairmont. The store, billed as a Mexican supermarket, is operated by the Solis family of Blue Earth.

“It’s a family-owned business,” said Cassandra Solis, who serves as store manager. “We always wanted a store.”

When Premiere Video closed their business, the Solises decided the building at 414 N. State St. was an ideal size in a great location.

Claudia Solis, the matriarch of the family, said her son, Lorenzo, encouraged the new venture.

“We need a family business,” he told his mother.

Lorenzo worked as a welder in Fairmont, a job he continues to do during a one-year assignment in Puerto Rico. He agreed to be an absentee owner while his mother and sisters, Cassandra and Isayana, spearheaded the retail effort.

“It only took us about six months to get things ready to open,” Cassandra said.

The first week of business has been “good,” Isayana said, noting that the high-traffic location along State Street is a huge asset.

The store is filled with tropical juices, snacks, grocery items and fresh produce, such as 3-for-$1 brilliant green limes, a staple for South of the Border cuisine. There’s even a rack of assorted clothing.

“We have a little bit of everything,” Isayana said.

Large, eye-catching pinatas are suspended in one area of the store, an item that Claudia insists are for adults as well as children.

Delicate dolls, encased in a lacy arched package, also are unique. The dolls are a traditional gift in Latin American countries for La Quinceanera, a girl’s 15th birthday celebration that marks her transition from childhood to young womanhood.

Claudia said their target market includes the many area residents who are from Mexico and Central America. Ironically, she has never been to Mexico, having lived in Blue Earth for more than 20 years.

Although the store offers a wide variety of items, plans are underway to add even more.

“We want to get a meat market,” Claudia said. They are working with inspectors to fulfill the requirements for a fresh meat counter.

The sale of imported beer also is on their list for the future.

La Paloma sells phone cards and can send funds out of the country.

“We send money to wherever they want to send it – Mexico, Guatemala, wherever,” Cassandra said.

“We just want everybody to stop in. We have a lot of different things, and we will have a lot more,” Claudia said.

The store’s phone number is (507) 235-8446, and its email address is lapalomamexican@gmail.com.

The store is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.