HAYWARD — The youngest employee of Montero's Market said that people searching for foods or other products usually found south of the border will often find them in the aisles or behind one of the many counters of the newly opened Foothill Boulevard shop.
There's Mexican bread, barrels of beans, fresh house-made salsa and chorizo. The meat counter has select cuts of beef as well as pigs' feet, chicken feet, tripe, octopus and shrimp of all sizes. And there's on-the-spot service, too, in the form of a built-in taqueria that already had a popular dish a week after it opened.
"It's the 99-cent tacos," said Edgar Juarez, 13. "There are other places that have $1.25 tacos, but we have them for 99 cents."
Edgar's father, Luis, opened the market because he saw a lack of a full-service Mexican stores in downtown. By full service, he means that there's a supermarket with Mexican as well as standard fare, the taqueria, a butcher, a money wiring service and soon a bakery.
City staff agreed with Juarez, and helped guide him through the approval process to get the market open.
"With Hayward having a large percentage of Hispanic population, there is a need for this," said Sally Porfido, the city's economic development coordinator. "It caters to Hispanic culture, but also to the people in the area — even though there is a Safeway and a Lucky nearby, there is a need for this."
Edgar said customers can expect many of the same or similar products they find at other large Mexican markets, but added that he thinks Montero's is more authentic, and that's important when making a traditional meal.
"Pretend it's like a flower," he said. "What we sell is real, starting from the beginning. All of the stuff you'd need to grow a flower, we have it."
Montero's Market is at 22487 Foothill Blvd., near A Street.