SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Two businesses in Northwest Arkansas continue a Hispanic tradition that brings loved ones closer.
At Campos Family Bakery you can find anything from churros, tamalesnchas or anything to satisfy your sweet tooth. Owner Oscar Abraham Campos explains that it all started with his grandfather and father who owned bakeries and Taquerias in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
"Even though I didn't dedicate myself to that, it was always like a path that I could follow. To see them do it is what inspired me," Campos said. "For me, it is a pride to have this business because I came to this country as an undocumented child at about nine or 10 years old. Quite literally walking through bushes to get here."
Abraham had immigrated to the United States but returned to Mexico briefly to study. When he returned at the age of 21, he worked at Panadería Ayala for seven years as a cake decorator before finally taking over last year and making it his own.
"There are only two kinds of people, the ones that try and the ones that stay in the same place," Campos said. "So always try, knock on doors, open doors and they will be opening for you, but it is about perseverance— to continue, continue, and never give up on your dreams."
For Mauricio Guerrero, Guatemalan coffee was a part of his life for as long as he can remember.
"I always say that my mom gives me coffee instead of milk in a bottle," said Guerrero. "Every Wednesday afternoon. We got to visit my grandparents in Guatemala. And at 5 p.m. it was a time to drink coffee. You know, so I was doing my homework in their house. And at 5 p.m. was like, hey, para lo que estas haciendo, stop what you're doing, come it's coffee time."
His long history with coffee is why he opened 211 Café in Bentonville in 2015. He serves 100% Guatemalan coffee, which he says he brings from Guatemala and roasts in Elm Springs.
"I can travel to the coffee farms in Africa, in Colombia, in Asia— but that's not me. So for me, keep it real, you know," he said.
Guerrero initially came to the United States as his wife received a job at the Walmart Home Office. After handling his residential documents, he attended the Texas Coffee School and worked as a barista before opening the café.
COOKIN' WITH ABUELA:
"When you come to this country from Latin America, you stop being Guatemalan and you stop being Mexican, you stop being Argentinian. You are Latin, right? And we are like, united and we are a group. But that doesn't mean that you need to lose your roots."
The tradition of Pan y Cafe or bread and coffee may satisfy the sweet tooth, but for Hispanics, that time is much more special.
"You will run and you want your coffee and move and drive-thru culture. That's not too much in Guatemala is more to sit down. And hey, let's be friends, man, let's connect," said Guerrero. "In Guatemala, we sit down and you have a cup of coffee for hours and speak."
"Out of everything, it is a time to relax, talk and conversate. Including, there are some in the Latin culture that considers it like a food, the bread."
Both business owners have expansion in their minds as Guerrero tells us to keep an eye out on 211's future. Campos explained the desire to open bakeries throughout Northwest Arkansas, starting with a second bakery in Siloam.
Campos Family Bakery is open every day from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. located at 404 W. Sunset in Springdale. 211 Café is open from 8:30 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. The café is located in the Bentonville Public Library at 405 S. Main St. in Bentonville.
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