A Mexican "tienda" is a shop or store. And it's like a box of chocolates...you never know what you're going to get. The farmacia that specializes in imported medications also sells cans of Costco tuna and children's toys. You might come upon a tienda that sells nothing but watches from China next to an artisanal shop that sells beautiful handwoven sarapes and Mexican tiles. A candy shop is lined floor to ceiling with not only sweet treats but...what?....yes, every type of styrofoam container known to man! I remember one time in Mexico City I came across a tienda that sold nothing but blenders and blender parts. We thought it would be fun and helpful too to showcase the sweet, the bizarre, the unique examples of tiendas in La Paz and El Centenario. They're fascinating!
The tienda we are featuring this time is LA PARCELA, located on Calle Allende about 4-5 blocks up from the malecon. Here you will find Cristhian Peña Cobarruvias, a purveyor of fine spices, specialty food items and local organics. The tienda has grown a lot since its opening in 2015...literally. It used to be the skinniest store in La Paz, about 5 feet wide! In March, Christian moved his business next door (the skinny store now sells unique women's hats) and was able to expand his unique repertoire of products. Vanilla beans from Veracruz, cardamon and coffee from Chiapas, turmeric from the Yucatan. Christian has spices from cuisines the world over...rasel harout from Morocco, piri piri from Portugal, zather from Syria, zhug from Turkey. Maybe you'd like to take a jar of chocolate nibs or crunchy chapulines (grasshoppers) back home for the housesitter?
Next time you're in La Paz centro, check out La Parcela. And don't forget to try on a few hats next door too.