EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – For over a hundred years, Brown Street Market – formerly known as Moon Grocery – has been a staple shop in the Central El Paso neighborhood.
New owners Monico and Rebecca Acuna bought the building wanting to expand their tattoo supply company, but soon found out that the property was only zoned to be run as a residence or a grocery store due to its long history as such.
Acunas didn’t know how to run a grocery store, but were up for the challenge.
“We have four generations of the same families that have been coming here to buy their food,” said Monico Acuna.
Along with his wife, he was set to learn the secrets of the trade and said the former owner of Moon Grocery, who sold them the place, helped significantly.
What keeps them going is also the need of the community.
“When we saw that there is a need for the store and we can feed the need in the community, that changed the whole dynamics and we became a community store,” he explained.
The store had always sold imported spices, that you can still find there, as well as imported food, produce and beverages.
The Acunas have modernized the space with some renovations and added tattoo supplies along with CBD products to the repertoire.
“We’re like a traditional ‘tiendita’, so you can find anything. Anything and everything you’re looking for, it’s probably here,” laughed Rebbeca Acuna.
What they didn’t know, Monico said, they learned from the community as well.
He explained that regular customers would come to the store and tell them what they need and find convenient to be able to purchase in the shop.
“We pulled out our pen and pencil and started writing it down,” he remembered.
After a year of the pandemic messing up their plans, they finally reopened the renovated store in December.
Acunas say their future plan is to sell more of their handmade products like flavor infused water, cookies, chips and even open up a kitchen to cook traditional Mexican dishes ready to eat.
“We feel like we’ve been adopted into this building instead of us buying it and trying to do something different,” said Monico.