Coco's Blog

Wednesday, 06 July 2011 13:03

New Recipe & Contest

The summer is here! This means fun, family gatherings and some relaxation (hopefully)! One of the things that I enjoy doing during the summer is trying out new recipes for the grill to share with family and friends, since I tend to have more free time.

This summer I want to experiment with different flavor combinations for grilling, like pairing fruit with rich spices and chilies with grilled veggies.  I was excited to come across Chef Johnny Hernandez’s receipe (from San Antonio’s La Gloria restaurant) for Ancho Adobo Tacos de Bistec with Grilled Corn & Tomatillo Salsa - it’s the prefect combo I was looking for in flavors! The recipe incorporates spices from McCormick’s 2011 Flavor Forecast – a brief report on the top flavors and trends for this summer’s grilling season.

So next time you feel like grilling this summer, skip the hotdogs and burgers and check out the delicious recipe below.  Try the recipe with chicken, it works well too. Also, enter our contest to win a basket from McCormick!   The basket has a $50+ value and has all the spices you need for the featured Ancho Adobe Bistec recipe!


Ancho Adobo Bistec Tacos with Roasted Corn & Tomatillo Salsa

Bistec (beef) tacos get fiery heat with an adobo or marinade of garlic, cilantro, lime juice and three peppers – smoky ancho, sweet paprika and crushed red pepper. Serve the tacos with a refreshing salsa of roasted corn, tomatillos and cilantro.

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Refrigerate 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes

Roasted Corn & Tomatillo Salsa:

  • 3 to 4 ears fresh corn
  • 3 fresh tomatillos, papery skin removed, rinsed well and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 green onion, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 radish, halved and thinly sliced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Diced Jalapeño Peppers
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Ancho Adobo Steak:
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Ancho Chile Pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef sirloin steak
  • 3 boiler onions, halved
  • 12 corn tortillas (5 1/2-inch)

FOR THE SALSA, remove husks and silk strands from corn. Soak in water for 15 minutes.

Grill corn over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until tender and lightly charred, turning occasionally. Cut kernels off cobs (about 2 cups). Mix corn, tomatillos, cilantro, green onion, radish, red onion, lime juice, oil, jalapeño peppers and salt in large bowl until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes to blend flavors.

FOR THE STEAK, place garlic, cilantro, lime juice, water and seasonings in food processor. Cover. Process until smooth. Reserve 2 tablespoons. Place steak in glass dish. Add remaining adobo; turn to coat well. Cover. Refrigerate 15 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Remove steak from adobo. Discard any remaining adobo.

GRILL steak over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes per side or until desired doneness, brushing with reserved 2 tablespoons adobo. Grill onions 2 to 3 minutes per side or until slightly charred. Grill tortillas 1 minute per side or until warmed.

SLICE steak into thin slices. Slice onions into thin strips. Serve steak and onions in tortillas. Top with Salsa.


Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 399 Calories, Fat 11g, Protein 31g, Carbohydrates 44g, Cholesterol 39mg, Sodium 800mg, Fiber 5g

Test Kitchen Tip: Boiler onions are small onions with a sweet, pungent flavor. They are often used whole in recipes for stews, kabobs and roasts. If unavailable, substitute cippolini or small sweet onions.


Would you like to win the basket pictured here?   It's inspired by the above featured recipe based on the Flavor Forecast by McCormick.

It's simple, here are the rules:

  • We have one $50+ basket for a giveaway.
  • Your name will be entered once when you "Like" Vidacoco on
  • Your name will be entered a 2nd time when “Like”
  • Your name can be entered a 3rd time when you Follow @AsandoSabroso -!/AsandoSabros.
  • Let us know when you have "liked" the pages and followed on Twitter and we'll enter you accordingly.
  • Contest closes on July 8th at midnight!
  • Good luck!
Friday, 27 June 2014 16:18

4th of July BBQ Survival Tips


Yes, you can enjoy your big July 4th bash and stay healthy!

By Coco Peate

I love celebrating the 4th of July. The gathering of family and friends, the fireworks – and yes, the food!  There are just so many delicious all-American foods that are enjoyed on this day. And of course some of us add our own spin to this American holiday with our favorite dishes that aren't American at all!  As a kid (and today!) my father would BBQ on the 4th - but we had Mexican sides, salsa, tortillas, and all sorts of other Mexican goodies - along with our hotdogs and potato salad.

In fact, I love the whole summer because I can catch up with friends and a great deal of our catching up happens over BBQs. However, if you are not careful, all the BBQs can wreak havoc on your health goals. Try following our simple rules to help survive the BBQ season while keeping your health goals on track and still having a great time.

Try some of these suggestions:

  • Use small plates: Did you know that research shows that people who use smaller plates eat less, without really noticing it?   So grab a plate from the kids table or from the dessert/appetizer area.
  • Smart appetizers: Use a fruit platter or a veggie platter with a low-calorie dip.  How about a shrimp platter with a low-calorie cocktail sauce?
  • Good sides: High carb goodies are plentiful at BBQs, but try picking up a whole grain alternative.   Whole grain bread products contain fiber that helps lower bad cholesterol and helps prevent gastrointestinal diseases.   Pick vegetables that are deep in color and high in nutrients, like broccoli or green beans.  Skip the foods that are high in refined carbs, like potato chips.   They are high in fat and low in nutrition.
  • Smart drinks: Remember that with wine, the darker the color, the more antioxidants.  Also remember that some alcoholic drinks can just be skipped all together.  A margarita can have about 600-800 calories, while a glass of wine or beer can have much less.  Your guests, especially the younger ones, may really enjoy fruit smoothies.
  • Check out your plate: Follow the power plate rule:  1/2 of your plate should be fruits or veggies, 1/4 should be whole grains and 1/4 should be your lean protein.  Remember to fill your plate with the healthiest options first too, to help you feel fuller faster and leave less room for dessert and drinks.
  • Share: Bring one healthy side or dessert to share, at least you know you will have one good and healthy thing on your plate!
  • Don't forget dessert! You don’t have to skip dessert all together, but watch out for your portion.  The difference between a small and large piece of cake/pie can be hundreds of calories.  Make a dessert that includes lots of fruit, like this delicious, low-calorie and easy to make parfait.

Very Berry Parfait Recipe

Makes 6 servings

What you will need:

  • 4 cups of fresh sliced berries:  strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  You can try adding mandarins, bananas, pomegranate kernels, kiwi - be creative!
  • 4 cups of fat free vanilla pudding cups
  • 2 cups of lite whipped toping like fat-free Cool Whip
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Amaretto liquor (or anything similar will be ok, we sometimes use Disaronno Amaretto liquor).  You may want to make a small batch for the young guests without the liquor and use 1 tablespoon of almond extract instead of the liquor.
  • 6 parfait glasses.  You can also use wine glasses, small clear glasses or dessert cups.fruit partfait

What to do:

  1. In one bowl, mix all your berries.
  2. In a second bowl, make your filling by mixing your liquor, pudding and Cool Whip together.
  3. Take ½ the filling and add it evenly to your 6 glasses.
  4. Add your fruit mixture to the glasses, evenly and generously!
  5. Add a final layer of the filling to each if your glasses.
  6. Top with a small mint leap, a little shaved chocolate, or extra berry mixture.
  7. Refrigerate until ready to serve. For a festive 4th of July touch add a little American flag to the top (you can find these at craft stores) - Viola!



Thursday, 28 June 2012 05:10

Summer Pool Safety

As a parent, many of us have experienced that moment of panic when we fear something horrible has happened to our child.   Maybe you lost them at the market or you think they darted into the street?   We have all been there.   Girl Swimming

Last summer, the kids and I were enjoying a relaxing afternoon at our neighborhood pool. My phone rang and I went over to get it - about 20 feet away. I picked up my phone, looked at the missed call and headed back towards the pool. I counted heads – 1, 2, but where was 3? I was holding my 4th child in my arms. My heart sank, I didn’t see my 5 year old! I finally spotted her, arms wailing under water….I put the baby down on the lawn chair and went into the water, fully clothed. My heart was racing, and as soon as Maddy could catch her breath she started crying.

Once we had both recovered from the scare, I thought about how fast this all happened. In about 30 seconds Maddy had managed to slip away from the shallow end of the pool by loosing her footing on the step she was standing on, all without a splash or any noise to alert me. I wasn’t the only adult at the pool - there were 4 of us. Granted, we were not there with the other adults, but nonetheless no one noticed that she was drowning. This experience really scared me and was a great reminder that accidental drowning can happen very quickly, even when adults are present.

We were lucky, Maddy only swallowed a little bit of water and, oddly enough, was very eagerly looking forward to her swimming lessons that summer. She told me she didn't want to "drown under water again." There are many good tips out there for pool safety, but hands down the top tip is to make sure your kids learn to swim. I grew up in the city where neighbors did not have pools and it was cold ½ of the year (Chicago!).  However, we live in So. California and it seems like we are going to the beach or visiting pools throughout the summer, so making sure the kids become good swimmers is very important.  While my oldest daughter is an excellent swimmer, Maddy (age 6) and her younger brother Danny (age 3) are not swimmers.    This scary event motivated me to get all three kids to their swimming lessons last summer and reminded me to keep a very watchful eye on them at the pool...and yes, to leave me cell phone on mute!   I have found that our local YMCS and park district offer great swim classes at very reasonable prices.

For more pool safety tips visit these sites:

Monday, 20 June 2011 05:21

Breast Cancer Awareness Event

Bunko logo

Hundreds Expected For Third Annual Tournament

I have been blessed to meet a group of local women who truly inspire me.  This group is dynamic!  Not only do they juggle the needs of their families, but they are fully committed to helping find a cure and raise awareness for breast cancer through their non-profit, Rolling For Pink.

Rolling For Pink (formerly known as Bunko For Breast Cancer) started as a group of women who initially met playing Bunko, a dice game.  They decided to do their part to help the cause in the most fun way they knew how - a big Bunko tournament.  How fun!

Over the past two years, with nearly 500 total tournament participants, RFP has proudly donated nearly $50,000 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Their goal this year is to raise more than the 2010 Tournament/Auction total of $25,000.  The Southern California-based RFP was founded as a non-profit organization three years ago after its executive directors and board members experienced countless family and friends being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Sue Stonehouse, Founder and Executive Director, Rolling For Pink, said: “We want to do our part to find a cure and raise awareness for breast cancer and we can do that with your help. RFP may be a small group but we are BIG fighters and yes, cancer struck us but we won’t let cancer beat us.”

This Saturday, June 25th at 1 PM Rolling For Pink is back for the third annual tournament at a private residence in Camarillo, California.  Guests can play Bunko, enjoy food and beverages from local vendors while helping find a cure and raise awareness for breast cancer.  Even non-players will have a good time, so come out and support an important cause.  There will also be a raffle and silent auction!  All net proceeds from the tournament will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.  If you can't attend, consider making an online donation.

  • Registration is open, $75 per person, and space is limited.
  • For further details please visit or contact:
    • Jennifer Chastain (Marketing/Public Relations)
    • 805-587-9653
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 15:14

Toddler Tantrums in Public

I was that crazy mom today that you sometimes see around town, almost losing it completely because of their child’s misbehavior. The 4 kids and I went to Jamba Juice after school.  I was happy, we had all managed to keep it together quite nicely while we waited in the long line and then waited for our order. We had just found a nice spot to sit outside on the patio when my 2.5 year old son asked for cookies. Ok, why not, I was in a good mood, so we all got up and went into the Starbucks.

On the way out a nice woman held the door open for my troop…I started walking out the door when I heard it, that loud scream that seems to have become a too familiar sound in our house for the last month. My son decided that HE wanted to open door for me at Starbucks and was angry that the lady held the door for me. Picture this…the nice lady is holding the door for me, my son is on the floor in the doorway screaming and won’t get up, people are trying to get in and out, I have a baby stroller partially blocking the entryway, and I’m holding cookies and a latte. I asked my son nicely, but firmly, to get up. He naturally screamed louder and by then I was certain everyone was looking at me and my son, thinking I must be crazy because I can’t control my kids.  After asking him again, I finally just scooped him up in one arm (ouch!), pushed the stroller and had him scream at the top of his lungs as we left.

We sat outside and finally after a few minutes he calmed down. I was embarrassed, but I tried to remind myself that, while it’s not easy, I have to ignore the stares from people and that my son’s tantrum is nobody’s business but mine. My baby is now 1 month old and my 2.5 year old has had a hard time with the transition. I imagine that we may be dealing with tantrums and misbehavior for some time. Oh boy, I’ll need lots of reassurance that I’m still a good parent!  The links below had some great suggestions on dealing with toddler tantrums - I'll be visiting them again!



Friday, 06 May 2011 16:25

Healthy Eating Rules

How often do you let your kids just enjoy being kids and let them load up on sugar and other things they may not normally eat? I try to encourage my children to eat healthy and for the most part we do a good job around our house of accomplishing healthy eating habits. We take them to the farmer’s market almost every week, we have them help in the planning and preparation of family meals and encourage them to make healthy eating choices.

But do you allow your healthy eating habits rules to be bent and how often? I sometimes struggle with this balance, maybe because I also like to enjoy things that aren’t so great for you every now and then. I simply can’t resist having a few french fries or having my mother in law’s homemade treats. There are some traditional Latino treats that I just love - buñuelos anyone?  My mother just spent two weeks with us, helping our family adjust to life with a newborn, and my kids definitely enjoyed her stay….partly because she buys them all sorts of things to eat that we don’t normally purchase in our house – the sugary cereal is a big hit with the kids! However, even my mom – who is skeptical of things “organic” being healthier than non-organic items - had her fridge stocked with our favorite organic milk and yogurt the last time we visited her and my father in Chicago.

I want my kids to know what healthy foods are and to enjoy eating them, but I also want them to know that it’s ok to enjoy certain treats once in a while too. My kids do drink chocolate milk – the organic and low fat kind. My kids eat burgers and french fries every now and then. We buy organic frozen yogurt but also allow them to have “real” ice cream. We always allow them to pick out their birthday cake and don’t limit sugar on holidays. And yes, on occasion they go with their grandparents to McDonalds. Is it about balance or should we be strict with our healthy eating rules? How often do you allow your kids to eat junk food?   We'd love to hear about what works for your family...


Thursday, 05 May 2011 21:02

Feliz Cinco de Mayo

Papel PicadoI did not celebrate Cinco de Mayo while growing up. My parents were born in Mexico and I was raised to be very proud of my Hispanic roots, but it wasn’t until college that I first celebrated Cinco de Mayo (literally “May 5” in Spanish) at a restaurant near campus.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.  However, the real party for Mexicans takes place on Mexican Independence Day celebrated September 16, when on that date in 1810 the country declared independence from Spain.  I haven’t been in Mexico on Cinco de Mayo, but it’s my impression that this holiday is not widely celebrated in the country, except in the city of Puebla or larger cities.

I grew up in two predominately Mexican neighborhoods on the South side of Chicago.  These neighborhoods celebrated Mexican Independence Day on September 16th with big parades, so I knew that the real celebration for the Mexican community was on September 16th, not Cinco de Mayo.

I remember actually looking forward to September 16th, it was sort of a special day in the community. It seemed like the entire day was a big party. My family would walk a few blocks to the parade route, carrying our Mexican flags. The street vendors would be out in full force – selling food, Mexican flags in all sizes, toys, and clothing. Many people placed big Mexican flags on their cars and cruised down the neighborhood streets. Some of our neighbors planned big parties, blocking off entire streets for their celebrations, with great food, bounce houses and music.  It was a day when I felt very proud of my Mexican roots.  Cinco de Mayo, however, went almost uncelebrated. It felt like any other day around our house and neighborhood.

So, fast-forward to my first Cinco de Mayo at college. Perhaps the most awkward moment that day happened when one of my classmates wished me a “feliz Cinco de Mayo.” I smiled, thanked them and thought to myself how silly I felt….Perhaps it was because many of the people celebrating at the restaurant didn’t know what they were really celebrating? Maybe it’s because I also really didn’t know what Cinco de Mayo celebrated.

It’s clear that the holiday is gaining popularity in the United States. On my afternoon walk today at the shopping center near my house, in my predominately non-Hispanic town, I saw many reminders of the day.  Three local restaurants had happy hour specials for the occasion while the grocery store had a big sale on Corona beer. Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patty’s day on March 17th. Lately, it seems like everyone wants to be Mexican on Cinco de Mayo. And you know what? I don't mind it.

Unfortunately, the word “Mexican” can be seen as something negative…but it’s not. If on this day the Mexican community and culture are celebrated in the United States – even if it is with margaritas, great food and a little mariachi music – then so be it.  I am hanging up some papel picado around our house and preparing a low key Mexican dinner….. I want to remind my kids that Cinco de Mayo can be a way to celebrate their rich heritage.

¡Viva México!  ¡Viva! ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Sunday, 01 May 2011 16:38

Thank You, Moms!

Mother's day pictureI know many fabulous moms….and I feel lucky that I do.  The moms that I know have inspired me, comforted me, encouraged me, and showed me that being a great mom can be done in so many ways and it never means perfection.

This morning my kids jumped into my bed, as they tend to do, and asked me “when is Mother’s Day?”  I told them it's next week.  They jumped out of bed and started chatting about finding something in their room that they would wrap up and give to me on Mother’s Day. That left me wondering what exactly they would give me, but I know that regardless of what they wrap up for me it's the thought that counts!  Right?  Last year I got two Polly Pocket dolls and a flower from my neighbor's garden!  Most of us remember that as children we always made something for ours moms at school…a potted plant, a picture frame, a handprint arts and crafts,  and of course, a card.

In our family, we would also take our mom out to eat, as many families tend to do on Mother’s Day.  We often ended up at our favorite Mexican restaurant and waited for what seemed like an eternity to get a table.  Who hasn't done that?   My mom was always happy on this day and I like to think that the kids were better behaved for her!  Yes, we have had our difficult moments and disagree about things, but it’s becoming a mom myself that has made me appreciate my mother so much more.

I appreciate all of the hardworking moms that I know too.  Yes, I appreciate them because of what they do for their families.  It's safe to say that as moms we do most of the driving, cooking, cleaning and pretty much everything you can think of for our families.  But I also know that my friends work very hard in roles outside of their "mommy" title...

I’m always excited to hear about successful business ventures that moms have launched.  As a mom of four young children, I know first hand how much work it takes to raise a family….moms that start their own businesses driven by their talents simply amaze me.   We’ve highlighted some of them in the past – my good friend Aimee Palosi started and my other friend invented Sniffle Duffles.  My friend Ali Landry started Belle Parish – a children’s clothing line for little girls.  Her clothing line has really taken off, especially after having appeared in their first Fashion Week in New York City last October showcasing a beautiful spring line.   Maybe my next child will be a girl, so I can buy her some of the super cute outfits from Belle Parish!   I love mom inspired products – go moms!

I feel really lucky to know so many wonderful and talented moms.  I have a good friend who is pursuing her passion for writing, while raising three small kids, and working two jobs.  I have several friends who homeschool their children and are amazing teachers.  I can’t forget all my friends who are on fundraising committees, charity boards and school boards.  They attend countless meetings, make lots of phone calls and run all over the city advocating for their children and so many great causes.  I have friends who work full time, come home from work, make dinner, help their kids with homework, clean their home and do it all over again the next day!  The moms I know will bring your family a meal when you are sick, pick up your kids from school when you are running late and bring you a cup of coffee when you have had a rough day.  I have mommy friends who blog too, of course!

Wow, we make the world go round!   Thank you moms – my friends – for all that you do, not just for your families, but for our communities!  You all inspire!

Sunday, 15 March 2015 12:09

St. Patrick's Day Recipe Tips

St. Patrick's Day Recipe Tips by Coco Peate

Happy St. Patricks' Day!

St. Patrick's Day FoodsI love that you don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, that’s for sure! It’s a great holiday for fun and games.  It's one of those days that everyone can enjoy and be a little green!

I've been thinking about healthy snack and recipe ideas for celebrating this holiday with your family, check them out below.

Tip 1: Start with Green-Colored Ingredients

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Green Apples
  • Green Beans
  • Green Chiles
  • Green Grapes
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwis
  • Peas
  • Spinach Pasta
  • Spinach Tortillas
  • Zucchini

Tip 2:  Plan a green meal. Just add a dab of green food coloring to some your favorite soft-textured foods.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Alfredo Sauce
  • Cake Frosting (white/light colored)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Deviled Eggs (add green dye to yolk mixture)
  • Low Fat Vanilla Pudding
  • Low Fat Vanilla Yogurt
  • Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
  • Mac & Cheese (with a white cheddar sauce)
  • Milk
  • Vanilla or Banana Milkshakes
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Pasta Salad
  • Pesto Sauce
  • Potato Salad
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Sour Cream (for garnishes)
  • White Gravy
  • Whipped Cream (low fat)

Green SmoothieTip 3:  Serve Green-Colored Recipes/Foods

  • Guacamole
  • Leafy Salads
  • Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  • Spinach Ravioli (with a cheese sauce)
  • Spinach Dip (with green veggies)
  • Spinach Soup
  • Spinach Tortillas (as wraps)
  • Green Fruit Pops
  • Green Colored Smoothies or Shakes. This site has some great ideas.
  • Whip up a batch of sugar cookies, adding a couple of drops of green food coloring to the dough.  Try substituting 1/2 of the white flour with wheat flour.
  • For a healthier alternative to corned beef and cabbage, try these two recipes at and
Thursday, 24 February 2011 21:51

How Latino Families Shop

Latino Family shopping

I recently came home from a long day of running errands ready for a nap, mostly because I had my 3 small children with me.   Bank – check,  Target – check,  grocery store – check, craft store (of course!) – check.

On this particular day, after all the errands, I came across an interesting study. The tag line caught my attention - "Did I know that Latinas were less likely too shop alone?”  I laughed, not because I’m Latina and tend to run errands with my kids, but because it reminded me of growing up and running many errands with mi familia!

The Hispanic Moms Acculturation Study was released by the BabyCenter and is part of the 21st Century Mom™ Insight Series, "which offers key insights into the influence of acculturation on moms' behaviors and preferences related to shopping, mealtime, media consumption, and more."

Some of the findings that I found particularly interesting are:

  • Shopping: Hispanic Moms Are Brand Loyal and Love to Shop With Their Families. Not only did more Hispanic moms vs. the general population report that they love to shop, but shopping is also regarded as a family affair.   Hispanic moms are three times less likely to shop alone!  Most interesting was that 54% of Latinas share their purchase decisions with spouses or partners vs. 44% of non-Hispanics.
  • Mealtime: An Important Way of Connecting to Culture at Every Acculturation Level.  I found it interesting that even though Hispanic moms reported more than non-Hispanic moms that dinner is the best time of day, the more acculturated the Hispanic mothers become, the more packaged foods are used in the home.
  • Media Consumption: Culture Drives the Conversation Between Brands and Latina Moms. Hispanic moms prefer images of family and togetherness vs. individual pursuits when it comes to advertising.

This got me thinking about my last trip to Chicago to visit my parents.  I noticed that at the local Target near my parent’s house (which is located in a predominately Mexican community) many of the shoppers at the store were in small groups – with tias, abuelas and niños in tow.  I still recall my family's trips to the grocery store and to the local Kmart when I was growing up.  My mother didn’t drive until I was in middle school, so it was very common for my dad (rather reluctantly), my mom and the four kids to run errands together, mostly on the weekends.  I actually liked running most of these errands with my family.   For some of the errands, I would even serve as an English translator for my Spanish speaking parents, like when we went to the bank, Home Depot or stores outside our mostly Mexican community.

This got me thinking a little bit more about how Latino families shop…maybe even more so because we are working at to open our online store (stay tuned, by the way!).

The website Latino Marketing Pro highlights the growing acknowledgement of the Latino buying power, specifically how mainstream companies are seeking to reach out to Latino costumers through Latino-focused retail formats.  They highlight retail giant Wamart, a favorite for Latinos, who in 2009 debuted its first “Supermercado de Walmart” store in Houston, shortly followed by another store in Phoenix.

Latino MarketIn addition to having bilingual staff members, patrons can find a variety of Latino items and a large bakery section with traditional Latino sweet bread and tortillas.  Sam’s Club and many others are also taking notice.   “The factors that influence Latinos’ decisions of where to shop are very similar to those of the general population: convenience, low prices and a wide selection of merchandise. However, many Latino consumers have additional priorities that they consider very important, such as store employees who speak Spanish, products relevant to Latino consumers, and Spanish-language signs.”

As Vidacoco continues to develop our online store, I am sure I'll have lots to think about...


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