Make a dream come true | Business


NEWPORT – The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of most people in one way or another, but for Sira Balderas, it’s the catalyst that made a long-held dream come true.

Balderas suffered a COVID-related layoff in 2019 from his banquet job at a large Newport hotel. When called back to the hotel to work after certain pandemic restrictions were lifted, she was placed in a new position as banquets were still on hiatus. While she was happy to return to work, she realized that she was not that happy and her mind went back to being an entrepreneur. “For a long time, I had thought about opening a restaurant, but it was never the right time,” she said. “But then all the signs were saying ‘Yes. It’s your time Sira.

Simple Mini Market in Newport offers a selection of organic and natural produce, free gifts and snacks to go. Freshly prepared breakfast and lunch options are also available to take away.

After living in Newport for over 20 years, her family moved north to the city, and that’s where the idea of ​​a small market struck her. “I realized there was nothing practical nearby. There is Walmart and Fred Meyer, but nowhere to quickly enter. Places like gas stations where people can rush in and out don’t carry a lot, if any, of fresh produce or organic food.

Simple Mini Market was officially opened in early July. It is located at 5417 N Coast Highway, just north of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse Road between Bonnie’s Espresso and Hazy Day.

Since opening the store during the busiest part of the tourist season, Balderas said she was busy from the start and had learned a lot already. “I’m still learning. People told me what they need, and I’m trying to find it and wear it for people. Balderas said she had a client who wanted kombucha . She didn’t know it but looked for it and now has it in her store. “I didn’t know what kombucha was,” Balderas said with a laugh. “Everyone knew about kombucha except me! But now I know.

The store has a good selection of organic produce, as well as packaged organic produce. She said the convenience store stocked a bit of everything for locals and travelers who just need to pick up something they forgot to pack, like a toothbrush, shampoo or sunglasses. There is also an area for T-shirts and gifts.

Obviously, this is not a typical convenience store. Balderas says the store is more a reflection of her personality – welcoming, warm – but with many great products. “Every day I learn something new,” Balderas said.

Food is freshly prepared daily, from take out snacks and salads to an extensive lunch menu. The Simple Mini Market also offers a menu of made-to-order food, including panini sandwiches, freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, breakfast burritos, elotes (Mexican street corn), and Mexican tortas. original style. Tamales are freshly made every day from the recipe of his mother, who has been making them for over 30 years. “If everyone is happy, then I’m happy,” Balderas said.

Although they have a lot of Latino products on offer, Balderas points out that the Simple Mini Market isn’t just a Mexican market, it’s for everyone. “What you see here is what is in the heart of our family.”

The Simple Mini Market may have been Balderas’ idea, but it is a family operation. Her two daughters, aged 13 and 16, work in the store during school holidays. Her husband, David, who worked just up the street in Pacific Shores for over 20 years, helped design the interior and custom made the counter and shelves that are both modern and rustic made from pallets. “I showed him the pallets and he said, ‘Are you crazy?’ And I knew that in the end it would be good and that he would be proud of himself. And he was.

“It was my idea, and my husband was very supportive of me, and I’m glad he listened,” she added.

As a business owner, it’s also important for Balderas to show his daughters the value of hard work. “I want them to understand where the money is coming from. That’s how I grew up in Mexico, learning from my father.

Soon the Simple Mini Market will feature online ordering, the ability to take food stamps, and hopefully a liquor license to sell wine and beer.

The Simple Mini Market is open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store is closed on Sunday. “We need a day to spend time with the family,” Balderas said. “Money is important, but family is more important.”

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