In García Ginerés, generations of women made Flores Café a success story

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Claire Tyrpak
Claire Tyrpak
Claire Tyrpak retired to Mérida in 2021 after a career managing programs for nonprofits, government and a university in the United States. She has been a world traveler since the 1980s and Mexico is the fifth country in which she has lived.
The mother-daughter team behind Flores Cafe in García Ginerés. Wisdom on the wall includes thoughts from Chilean poet Vicente García-Huidobro Fernández, British philosopher Bertrand Russell and Facundo Cabral, who reminds us that “cowardice ages us more than time.” Photo: Claire Tyrpak / Yucatán Magazine

On a residential street in picturesque García Ginerés, the singular Flores Café is a story of family and love over several generations.

For its seven-year history, Maria Moreno has run Flores Café in a house she inherited from her great-grandmother. Maria has been at the helm, cooking, shopping, waiting tables, and everything else that six staff members also do. Maria’s mother, Michelle, helped start the restaurant. Both women are from Mérida, but lived in Cancún for years. Michelle returned to Mérida, followed by Maria, after a divorce.

Flores Café in García Gineres. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Michelle grew up in the house that is now the iconic restaurant. When they were thinking of how to earn a living, they realized there were no other eateries in the area. So Michelle got the idea to open a café serving coffee and baguettes.

They furnished it with pieces from the main house. They used poetry painted on the walls for decoration. They created a colorful, homey place with walls filled with poetry and art that is eclectic, pretty, and natural.

The Argentine poet JL Borges is quoted above the counter at Café Flores. “I have committed the worst sin that a man can commit. I have not been happy,” reads the writing on the wall. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Michelle worked in the kitchen for three months in the beginning and then turned it over to her daughter. Although not religious, they blessed the new restaurant with holy water to launch it with good energy. Little by little they added furniture as the restaurant grew.

The restaurant did indeed grow immediately after it opened and it was all by word of mouth, as they don’t advertise. Michelle describes the restaurant as open to the air, to minds, to words, and to the world. Their customers are mostly locals, many of whom are regulars and they get some foreign customers too. Many journalists frequent the restaurant and also some people from the arts. Some groups come regularly, such as an expat group that has a set table reserved for their Thursday gatherings.

A full menu, including vegan options, is available at Flores Café. Photo: Claire Tyrpak / Yucatán Magazine

With classic jazz in the background, there is a variety of cozy spaces to relax: a couple of indoor rooms, one of which is air-conditioned, and two patios. One patio has a small pool in the middle. All areas are comfortable and it is a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.

The restaurant, at Calle 16 between Colón and 23, is open from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily except Sundays.

Their menu is described as “Breakfasts, two menus of the day (one vegetarian) and a lot of cheerful moments between the smell of coffee, poetry and old jazz records.”

Prices are reasonable with chilaquiles ranging from 90 to 95 pesos and Tacos de Guisado cost 25 pesos. Vegetarian options include chile relleno and they can go vegan upon request.

Their specialty is a tortilla de la casa, which consists of eggs, beans, tomato, onion, and cheese. For beverages, they offer juices and fruit waters.

Find them on Facebook or via WhatsApp at 999-553-5373.

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