Griselda García: 26 years with stores in NY

Griselda García is a hard-working and visionary woman who runs a Mexican restaurant three blocks from Central Park on New York’s Upper East Side: Dalila’s Food Market Inc.

She comes from a matriarchy in Puebla, Mexico.

They started El Tepeyac in New York, a bodega-style store offering Mexican products. Since then, she and her four siblings have generated 22 businesses, all following the food line.

“I have worked in this sector since 1998 and have witnessed the evolution and modernization of the way of doing business, as well as the growth of our community and its buying power,” said Garcia in an interview with Abasto. 

Griselda studied and practiced law in Mexico for two years, although she has been a merchant all her life.

When she arrived in the United States, she said her studies helped her understand the system and set up her stores.

Her teacher? The customer

Griselda García has years of experience in what she calls the noble profession of merchant.

One of her most valuable sources of knowledge has been her customers. She has a habit of questioning those who visit her stores about their shopping preferences, the products they usually purchase, their origins, and where else they shop. This enables her to assess their spending habits, purchasing power and requirements, allowing her to determine if additional services should be offered to them.

“By having the customer, you can sell them everything. It’s easier to sell them more, to expand your repertoire of merchandise or services you can offer them, as opposed to finding a new one,” she said.

That’s why her store sells everything from meat, milk, and tortillas to hot food. They even prepare food for events, such as parties.

“A lot of analysis causes paralysis, so it’s better to be there and jump in,” she said.

No one regrets being brave, she said, so she “took the plunge,” and her restaurant Dalila’s was born.

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From bodega to restaurant

El Tepeyac grew because a supermarket closed on the next block.

“We took another location to make a butcher shop, we extended the hours at that time around here where we have been living forever. The only home deliveries that were made were of hot food. I said, why not do beer? Finally, there is a high consumption,” Griselda García said.

So, Griselda had a phone line just for those orders, but people also wanted food. The next opportunity? Men without a partner or family who miss traditional stews.

“I’ve had to reinvent myself according to the circumstances. In the pandemic, the concept of food for sale over the Internet came up,” García said.

Own brands: Tepeyac and Dalila’s

  • Tepeyac started as a bodega offering dairy, meat and beer with home delivery or internet sales. It has also been a courier delivery point.
  • Dalila’s Food Market Inc is a restaurant that operates Monday through Sunday from 8:00 AM to 1:00 AM.

The menu includes tamales, huaraches, empipianadas, burritos, chile relleno, tacos, nachos, nopales salad and other traditional dishes. They even offer vegetarian options, food prepared with blue corn and desserts. And to go with it? Beer, salsas, guacamole, tostadas and sides.