Hispanic Heritage Month: Business owners in Huntsville thankful for growing support

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — As the Tennessee Valley grows in population, so does its diversity. And with it – more local business to try out anytime of the year, not just during Hispanic Heritage Month.

“When you buy from us or from someone (else) local, you’re supporting a Huntsville family,” Dolce Pan Bakery owner Yamil Lucena said. “And there’s nothing better than that.”

Many Hispanic-owned businesses along Jordan Lane and on Triana Boulevard range from restaurants, to beauty salons and barber shops, to discount international grocers and more.

Moda Vaquera is a Latina-owned western wear and dress store.

“We have a variety of prom dresses, homecoming, evening cocktail dresses,” co-owner Melissa Santoyo said. “So (there are) dresses for anyone. We also rent formal wear, tuxedos, all that. So it’s really a shop for everyone.”

A mother-daughter duo who call Huntsville home run the store.

“I don’t know much about social media and she does,” owner Lupe Santoyo said. “And I have the experience but she doesn’t. So we complement (each other).”

Next door to the shop on Triana you’ll see an authentic Puerto Rican lunch at Sabor Boricua. Need a haircut after? Puerto Rican-owned Mi Encanto Salon is next door.

“We have a little bit of everything from Puerto Rico here in Huntsville,” Lucena said of the multiple businesses owned by those of Puerto Rican descent.

“Even the coffee here (at Dolce Pan) is from Puerto Rico. My mom ships it every two weeks here so we have it. So it’s really, really authentic.”

Lucena and the Santoyos take pride in being a few of the many Hispanic Americans whose businesses persisted through the pandemic to serve north Alabamians.

“When you have a place in your own town that can give you that little piece of that other place…that’s something people look for,” Lucena said.

Also found along Triana Boulevard is El Cazador Burritos, La Luminaria Tienda, and La Michoacana Ice Cream among others.

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