GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A small Grand Rapids bakery at the corner of Fulton Street and Fuller Avenue serves up food from Guatemala.
Owner Blaymiro Rodas, who does most of the baking while his wife Alba Rodas runs the front, said when he first moved to Grand Rapids from Guatemala, there weren’t many places to get food from his country.
“Grand Rapids has a lot of people from my country and they (are) looking for some stuff from there. But if you go to the Mexican store, they have not much from my country,” he explained. “I want to serve my products to any people.”
Around a year ago, the couple opened up Mi Bella Guatemala, which translates to “my beautiful Guatemala.” The bakery and grocery store offers Guatemalan baked goods, tamales, churros, coffee beans and snacks.
Their daughter, Rosie Rodas, said her dad has always been a baker.
“That’s been his thing, just making treats, so that’s what he enjoys doing,” she said.
Mi Bella Guatemala is there to serve everybody, the family said, from those who are from Guatemala to those who have never tried Guatemalan food.
Translating for her father, Rosie Rodas said it offers “just a little taste of home.”
“These are directly from Guatemala,” she said about some of the chips, cookies and other snacks the store sells. “So it legit, it’s authentic. So … he just wanted to bring that closer to the people who are Guatemalan and others who haven’t even tried it.”
While the bakery has seen its ups and downs, the family said it has received great feedback from the community and people have been very kind.
“People are very excited,” Rosie Rodas said. “It’s just different, it’s a different type of bread, it’s a different type of food. … People love our coffee and then our baked goods, as well. It’s just different than the American pastry that we usually see.”
Blaymiro Rodas said he likes being able to put his own touch on the bakery’s goods.
“He likes making goods that will make people happy … and something different,” Rosie Rodas said, translating for her dad. “Because I know this is not what we usually see in here, but he just likes making his own unique pastry.”
The family hopes to continue to grow the business and become a favorite bakery for customers.
“We know this is a small business, but his hope is for everybody to come here and enjoy our treats and get to know who we are and just have a little bit of taste of what Mi Bella Guatemala is,” Rosie Rodas said.
News 8 is featuring Hispanic-owned West Michigan businesses this week in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Come back Monday to read about a West Michigan-based makeup brand, and catch our Hispanic Heritage Month special Thursday at 7 p.m. on WOOD TV8.