(Ruth and Brenda sharing a smile – Photo: Stittsville Central)
The aroma of Mexican cooking wafted into the hallway as we entered the scene. The many colourful Mexican crafts, artwork, jewellery and food really brought the Stittsville United Church to life with all things Mexican.
According to Marsha, who was running the kitchen, 300 tacos were sold and two large drums of tamales were gone in no time. “The people started arriving around 11:20 with no let-up until after 2:00pm”, she exclaimed!
This event was the brainchild of Ruth Richardson, spouse of Rev. Grant Dillenbeck, who wanted to welcome and assist a new family and business to Stittsville, and, to introduce the Mexican culture to our community. Ruth is full of passion and certainly enabled all to enjoy the culture of Mexico today.
When I spoke with Brenda, the owner of San José Mexican Foods, she told me her story. She is originally from Mexico and had moved to Vancouver where she and her husband operated a business selling their Mexican food for 16 years. Brenda indicated that over that time, the crime rate in Vancouver had risen and she did not want her children being raised in that environment. Having friends living in Ottawa, and with their coaxing her to move here, she came for a visit this past summer. After seeing Ottawa and all that it had to offer she was convinced to move her family here. Brenda had originally looked at the Kanata area, but their friends said no, no – Stittsville is where you want to live.
When Brenda returned to Vancouver, she and her husband decided that if they could sell their business, they would move here. She prayed to St. Joseph (a Saint for the people) to help her with the sale and their huge decision. The couple were told by a realtor that it would take at least a couple of months to sell. Well, they put their business on the market on a Monday and it was sold, signed and sealed by that Friday.
The family packed up their house and moved to Stittsville – we are so much richer for their choice to live here. And, they live in my neighbourhood!
But Brenda’s story doesn’t end there. San José Mexican Foods has been working hard to make a presence here in the community and beyond – and doing a very good job. They have a food trailer which they would like to set-up this coming summer from which to sell their Mexican fare. Many local sites have been looked at and inquired about, but have had no luck yet in finding the right locale. Ruth did mention the possibility of using the Church parking lot as a location for the business this summer. So, keep an eye on the parking lot! Check out their Facebook page – SanJoseMexicanFoods – for further news.