Clara Sánchez called the soon-to-be-opened Mis Raíces Café her “roots”, and the name comes with a double take on the meaning.
“I am originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco,” she says. “I’m from a small town where all the people are kind and know each other. I treat clients as if you were having guests coming to your house, making them feel welcome. That’s what I brought here to Phoenix.”
The new Café Barista is located between Earth Plant Based Cuisine, El Charro Hipster Bar and Cafe, and Testal Mexican Kitchen on Grand Avenue. The quaint 900-square-foot café is decorated with dolls and hand-painted vases from Mexico. The walls are a mixture of brick wallpaper and Talavera tiles.
On a recent visit to her, she made four iced drinks. They were all rich in flavor and cooling in the heat of the Phoenix.
The first and two are iced coffee drinks topped with whipped cream and a delicious drizzle.
“This is MazabanAnd the It’s a Mexican dessert, and it’s very crisp,” she says. You get little peanut crumbs. The other drink is dulce de leche, called cajeta in Spanish, which is sweeter. ”
Cajeta has a more liquid texture and a light brown shade of caramel.
“It’s typical of Mexico,” Sanchez says. “You can use it to dip your churro and put it on pancakes.”
Speaking of desserts, it inspired most of the menu.
“We’ll change the menu every week, so it’s pretty much the pastries, sweets, and biscuits,” she says. “This week, we’ll have cinnamon buns, brownies, cheesecakes, chocolate chips, and coconut cookies.”
She also offers treats for patrons who are vegetarian or on a low-carb diet.
Back in Guadalajara—about 300 miles west of Mexico City and 1,200 miles south of Phoenix—I helped her parents run tortillas. Sanchez moved to the United States when she was 18 and now lives in Goodyear with her family and two children. But she carries everything her parents taught her.
“I learned from my parents how to deal with customers and how to run a business,” she says.
“Please try this; it’s mango juice. In Spanish, we call it Licuado de fruta. For now, we’ll keep it simple, but in the future, we’re thinking about adding Chamoy and Tajin drizzle, and we can make mangonada.”
Chamoi is a red syrup that is sweet, sour, spicy and salty, all at the same time. Tagine is a sea salt condiment with hot pepper and lime. Next, Sanchez serves up a red-pink-to-white watermelon iced drink with a splash of lemon juice.
“It’s called refresher; it has some plant energy made from the green coffee beans of the cascara tree,” she says.
The barista-turned-entrepreneur uses coffee beans imported from Chiapas, Mexico, and the state in Mexico, which in her opinion harvests the best coffee.
Before pursuing a brick-and-mortar store outside the Roosevelt Row Arts District, Sanchez sold cold brew concentrates and bags of coffee beans emblazoned with the Mis Raices Café logo at pop-ups and street markets throughout the valley.
“I made this logo,” she explained. If you see the letters ‘R’ and ‘S’ in ‘RAICES’, The letter “R” stands for my husband’s last name and “S” for my last name. So one hand is his, the other is my hand, holding what we’ve built and planned over the years.”
Two leaves sprout from the hands in the logo represent her children, continuing the family theme in the new café and celebrating your roots.
Mis Raices Café will be holding a ribbon-cutting party on Saturday, July 16th at 9:30am and will remain open until 5pm that day. After the party, Sanchez plans to open the store at 6 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
my coffee roots
1325 Grand Avenue, Unit 3