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Mercado El Dorado moves north

Bertin Garcia, manager, and Teresa Renesdiz will operate Mercado El Dorado in its new location at 110 W. North Shore Drive in New Richmond. The market is owned by Roger Kukowski and offers authentic Mexican spices, food and farm fresh meats from Kukowski's farm.

Mexican food lovers need not fear. Just because Mercado El Dorado has moved from its location on Dorset Lane, doesn't mean it's gone forever.

Roger Kukowski, owner of the Mexican market, said there were several reasons he decided to move his business to 110 W. North Shore Drive in New Richmond. For one, the building formerly housed a meat market.

"We're offering the same items as we did before but we're focusing a bit more on our farm fresh meat," Kukowski said.

The beef and pork, all raised on Kukowski's farm just north of Somerset, is individually packaged. He said quartered, halved and whole animals are also available by request.

Another big change is the elimination of the Mexican restaurant.

"That's probably the biggest thing," Kukowski said.

"We'll have a small deli after the first of the year and we still offer fresh tamales, pica de gallo and Mexican sandwiches," he said.

Kukowski said the restaurant was too time consuming to be successful.

"It was authentic and so much time went into preparing the food," he said. "Everything was hand cut."

While the new market isn't as visible as the Dorset Lane location, Kukowski said he believes his customer base has grown.

"That's probably because of the meat," he said.

New to the market are the Spanish movie rentals Kukowski offers his customers.

"They buy the movie for $5 and if they return it I give them $3 back," he said. "So they're basically renting it for $2."

Calling cards and cell phones are a big part of the business, he said.

The clothing items, candy and other Central American products are offered in the gift department. Fresh breads and cakes are purchased from St. Paul, Minn. and resold in the market.

Kukowski said his store is open to everyone, not just the Latino population.

"We have a lot of people coming in here looking for specific spices," he said. "Now they don't have to go to St. Paul to find something they need for a recipe."

Mercado El Dorado is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday. The store is run by Bertin Garcia, manager, and Teresa Renesdiz.