Mi Pueblo is a Northern California’s leading neighborhood grocery retailer in San Jose, California. Mi Pueblo has a total of 15 store locations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley and Monterey Bay Peninsula. Mi Pueblo was established in 1991 and is known for providing authentic Latino shopping experience. It strives to create an ambiance reminiscent of the crowded, fresh-food markets of Mexico and Latin America while also carrying all the grocery items generally available in mainstream supermarkets.
History and founder
Juvenal Chavez is founder of Mi Pueblo. Chavez emigrated from Mexico in 1984 and spoke no English at the time, taking odd jobs while attending night school to learn English. At one point he worked as a janitor at Stanford University. In 1986, he went into business with his brother running Chavez Meat Market. In 1991, deciding to go off on his own, he purchased Country Time Meats in San Jose, California, starting his mercantile chain. Chavez opened his first business in the Bay Area because he found that the Hispanic population was very under-served and needed to purchase food easily without being impeded by their lack of knowledge in the English language. He started with the meat business because it was the most obvious opportunity. Over time he expanded into produce, bakery and deli, then grocery. Now Mi Pueblo is a $300 million business, with 15 stores opened and significant growth on the horizon.
Juvenal Chavez became a player in the grocery retail business receiving numerous awards such as “Innovator of the Year.” In 2009, the National Grocers Association also named Mi Pueblo Foods “Outstanding Community Based Retailer.” The Mexican American Community Services Agency named him an influential Latino of the Silicon Valley in 2009. Then in March 2009 Mi Pueblo Foods opened in Pittsburg, CA.
Departments, Products & Services
Mi Pueblo has seven different departments in the store. The first department is the meat department offering over 100 different cuts of meat. There is a wide variety of Latin American styled marinated meats, entrails, poultry and seafood – along with a full-service butcher staff trained to engage with customers. Next is the produce department offering over 400 items from fresh produce, spices, ready-to-eat cut fruit, a wide variety of nuts, and cut flower bouquets. The third department is the bakery featuring items such as bolillos, tres leches cake and pan dulce all made from scratch daily from regionally trained master bakers. The Tortilleria, one of the most popular departmetns, prepares warm, fresh tortillas on a daily basis. The Hot Deli department offers a diverse selection of dishes from Mexico and Latin America. The seafood department offers a wide variety of fish, shrimp and freshly prepared dishes.
The full-service grocery department features over 17,000 imported products as well as mainstream and national brand labels. In October 2014, Mi Pueblo started offering a full range of Western Union services throughout all its stores in the Bay Area, Monterey Peninsula and Central Valley to enhance existing customer needs such as check cashing, utility payments, money transfers and money orders. Tickets to local events are also available at Mi Pueblo.
Mi Pueblo is committed to supporting the communities it serves through initiatives and campaigns. In 2011 Mi Pueblo launched its scholarship program to help students prepare for a brighter future. Since the program was launched Mi Pueblo has awarded more than $550,000 in scholarships funds to over 350 individuals in the Bay Area, Central Coast and Central Valley regions who wished to continue their education or were enrolled in college. In 2015, the Mi Pueblo scholarship program will award more than $200,000 to deserving scholars.
In 2014, Mi Pueblo in collaboration with Mexican Heritage Corporation, raised over $100,000 to provide adequate legal representation to unaccompanied minors at the U.S border through its month- long campaign Unidos por los Niños. The campaign surpassed the company’s goal thanks to local supporters and the community.
Part of Mi Pueblo’s company pillars includes a commitment to maintain Hispanic culture and traditions alive. This is accomplished through Ballet Folklorico competitions, participation in community events, school field trips, donations to nonprofit organizations and churches and partnering with organizations to educate its consumers on issues affecting the community.