The long-awaited SuperMercado Loma Bonita has opened its doors in Monticello.
The 5,000 square-foot supermarket is located in the former Benusa Appliance Sales & Services location at 512 State Highway 25 in the 6th Street Station shopping mall.
For those anticipating authentic Mexican meats, bakery items, hot case items such as carnitas and tamales, and Mexican dry goods- the store will not dissappoint.
The store is the fifth in a chain of family-owned Mexican grocery stores.
The Monticello store is owned by Susana Castillo and her husband Luis Briones. The couple has recently located from Bloomington to Monticello. Other SuperMercado Loma Bonita’s are located at 45th and Central Avenue in Hilltop, in the Crystal Shopping Center in Crystal, at 800 White Bear Avenue in St. Paul, and in Savage at 4129 State Highway 13.
While working in her father’s store in Crystal, it was a common response from customers that a store should be opened in Monticello, Susana Castillo said.
The supermarket has quickly become known for its authentic Mexican pastries and cakes.
“Now people won’t have to drive all the way from Monticello to Crystal to get the delicious breads from our bakery,” Castillo said.
Most of the bakery items at SuperMercado Loma Bonita are commonly found in Mexico. They are traditional Mexican breads, Castillo explained.
“ And we make them all here,” she said.
The store also features special seasonal breads. Right now, the special is Pan de Muertos, or “Day of the Dead” bread that has an orange flavor from fresh squeezed orange juice and orange zest.
The hot case, which is a perfect place to grab a hot lunch, is home to fried pork skin, pork rinds, a variety of homemade tamales (at just $2.09 each!) and carnitas, a favorite prepared pork.
The meat department carries the marinated pork, al pastor, that is receiving rave reviews online. Other meats used in Mexican dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, and burritos are also available from behind the full-service meat counter.
“We also have a variety of flat meats and ribs for making broth,” Castillo said.
The shelves of the grocery store are stocked with authentic Mexican dry goods.
“They are products people from Mexico and Central America will be familiar with,” she said.
The produce section will also catch one’s eye- especially the variety of peppers that the store has on hand.
When it comes to cakes, a visit to SuperMercado Loma Bonita’s panaderia can be a sinful experience. From tiramisu, and strawberry shortcake to tres leches chocolate flan, the cakes from SuperMercado Loma Bonita will leave you wanting more.
And don’t forget the Champurrado- a thick, Mexican hot chocolate that is served fresh daily.
The store features weekly specials, Castillo said. For example, last week, the store featured all of its produce at 50 percent off. This week, breads are on sale for 20 percent off.
SuperMercado Loma Bonita also a discount card for frequent shoppers. With the card, shoppers can realize discounts from 5 to 10 percent off, Castillo said.