Mérida, Yucatán — For anyone passing by, Isabel Jiménez García offers something sweet. Or salty, or tart.
The merchant says her offerings are seasonal, and often healthy. She also sells marshmallows, caramelized peanuts, peanut chews and pork rinds. For people on a diet, she offers juiced jicama, carrots, cucumbers and mangoes. She also supplements her offerings with sunglasses.
The fruits are colorfully arranged, tempting pedestrians from clear plastic cups. But the real secret to her success is cleanliness.
“Hygiene in the workplace is one of the keys to stay in the people’s favor,” she stresses.
The Centro snack stand, on Calle 60 outside the Diario de Yucatán building between 65 and 67, has been Isabel’s for 12 years. She was brought up in the trade, with her mother who sold treats on the same street, one block to the north.
“That’s how I grew up with my mom,” says Isabel, 35, who is now a wife and mother of three children, two in high school and one more studying psychology.
She has tried to hold the line on prices, despite rising costs, she said. Many of her customers have been loyal for years and she doesn’t want to lose them. It’s also a struggled to keep some customer favorites in stock, as to not disappoint her fans.
Only one thing has changed over the years. In addition to salt and lemon, there is a growing trend toward hot sauce on their treats.
Her sweets and fruits are sold Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and she says she’ll be at her stand until God calls her.
Source: Diario de Yucatán