Díaz Ordaz is a small village of around 6200 people, located very near to San Miguel del Valle in the foothills close to Tlacolula. Although the village does not see much tourism, it is definitely a popular community visit on our En Via tours, and if you go, drop in to eat at Anabel’s Comedor on the main avenue.
Anabel has had six loans with En Via thus far and she has big plans for the future of her café business, which she has had now for around 4 years. Anabel serves many different types of food, from made-to-order tortas and pizza, to BBQ chicken and slow roasted adobe pork to delicious cakes and cookies. Anabel says that before she started her business, she worked mainly in the household, but she has always loved to cook. She learnt her cooking skills primarily through helping out in the kitchen from an early age and watching how other people made different foods for celebrations.
Anabel says that many of her customers are from out of town; people driving through the town to the mountains pass by her cafe, located on the main street of Díaz Ordaz. She said she now has regular customers from surrounding towns as well, who will stop in every time they come past. Some come in especially to see what cake she has made that day.
Since joining the program, Anabel has had the opportunity to employ another person to help out. Her employee comes in the early mornings and late afternoons to help Anabel and her daughter prepare the food. During the week Anabel also fills orders for school lunches, which is a new aspect to her business. Tortas and mole are some of her most-requested meals, but Anabel really enjoys making different cakes to sell as well. The café is staffed from 8am to 8pm, but only open for customers to sit down from around 2pm. She is closed on Sundays.
With the loans she has received so far, Anabel has bought a gas tank, a gas grill, glasses and plates, café benches, large sacks of beans, and cold drinks. One of her most recent purchases was a blender which means she can now offer smoothies and juices to her customers.
As work for her husband (as a laborer) can be seasonal, the cafe is now the main steady source of income for the family. Anabel is excited with her plans to grow her business further. With her next loan she wants to buy some fly screens for the main door and windows, and repaint her restaurant.
She shared with us that she loves what she does and is happy her daughter helps out in the café when she can. Adding that while a business is a lot of work, it is also very rewarding, and she is glad to share that with her daughter.
Written by Jodi Fleming
Jodi has been volunteering for several months at En Via – you may meet her leading a tour to visit our women borrowers in the different communities surrounding Oaxaca