TMB Latino

All Mexican and Tex Mex, on a regular basis


Chulas Mexican Imports opened six years in the past at 7755 Gratiot Highway (M-46) in Saginaw’s Thomas Township as a result of the founding co-owners already have been doing enterprise on a casual foundation.

Siblings Janie Rangel Escamilla and Maria Cristina Rangel Barron grew within the Texas border metropolis of Edinburg, 50 miles northwest of Brownsville. Once they would journey again dwelling, mates would ask them to carry again Mexican or Tex Mex items, which might vary from cultural clothes gadgets to colorfully-wrapped candies.

Maria says, “We figured, why not open our personal retailer, as a result of we’re doing this already.”

Chulas Mexican Imports, 7755 Gratiot Rd #5, Saginaw, MI 48609

They determined to launch in what old-timers know as Shields, 5 miles west of the Saginaw County Membership, not solely due to the thriving native enterprise district, however as a result of it offers a midpoint. Maria resides within the Metropolis of Saginaw, whereas Janie’s house is in Chesaning.

However their splendid location comes with a problem. To take care of the atmosphere of Shields/Swan Valley as a homey bed room neighborhood, enterprise indicators are restricted in dimension and in top. On the similar time, Chulas (Spanish for “Lovely” Mexican Imports) shares its signage with 4 different enterprises in a small roadside strip mall.

“Folks actually should search for us,” notes Maria, who explains why promoting says “Throughout from Flannigan’s,” a preferred native pub within the enterprise district.

At Chulas, consumers will discover kitchen gear to press their very own masa for tamales, together with normal do-it-yourself tortillas irons and heaters for a number of functions. And if somebody goals to organize a Texas-shaped tostada or cake, there’s an merchandise for that additionally.

The shop is about the identical dimension as a family storage, however there are not any empty areas and the colours appear to blow up upon getting into. In a single step we discover fantastic style clothes, in one other a greenback store-type desk crammed with key chains that includes the whole lot from the Mexican flag to celebrities to Our Girl of Guadalupe.

An commercial from the primary 12 months appears overloaded, nevertheless it captures a mere fraction of Chulas’ contents: “Mexican Decorations, Baja Hoodies, Sombreros, Spanish Balloons, Sun shades, Serapes, Mexican Toys, Wallets, Non secular Items, Piñatas, Sundresses, Ponchos, Mexican Attire, Jewellery, Guayabera Shirts, Purses, Mexican Sweet. And A lot A lot Extra.”

Greeting playing cards worded in Spanish? Recreation tools for lotería, which is Spanish-speaking bingo? Maracas to boost your subsequent karaoke? Sports activities gear for the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Tigers, fave groups amongst Mexican People?

“Our prospects inform us that we remind them of the shops from their childhoods,” Maria notes.

Chulas Mexican Imports, 7755 Gratiot Rd #5, Saginaw, MI 48609

From the beginning, the Rangel sisters opted to spend money on retailer inventory and high quality as a substitute of costly media promoting. They made certain Chulas Mexican Imports established a presence not solely inside Saginaw’s Cinco de Mayo Parade, however at festivals in locations resembling Janie’s personal Chesaning, dwelling of the Showboat, together with Hemlock, Alma, Birch Run and Montrose.

Maria says word-of-mouth has drawn prospects from such distant spots because the Grand Rapids space and from Traverse Metropolis, even Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. 12 months-round Saginaw County prospects are the primary draw, however many patrons are also seasonal staff in occupations like farming and building.

“Folks inform us that they discover us as a result of we’re distinctive, with gadgets they can not discover anyplace else,” she says, “and we all the time take heed to prospects in order that we will proceed to search out what they need.”

The identical as for many small companies, the primary few years for Chulas have been a wrestle at occasions.

“After which final 12 months,” Maria notes, “we needed to shut for covid, for half of March till close to the top of June. However after we reopened, enterprise has been phenomenal. Possibly folks had no alternative however to sit down again and save their cash, we don’t know.”

Go to Chulasmexicanimports.com or go to Chulas on Facebook and Instagram. Hours are 10 a.m. to six p.m. weekdays (closed Tuesdays), 10 a.m. to five p.m. Saturdays, and midday to five p.m. Sundays. The cellphone quantity is (989) 798-4456; the mailing tackle is 7755 Gratiot, Suite 5, Saginaw MI 48909; and the e-mail is chulasmeximports@gmail.com.



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