Mini Market Lupita celebrates grand re-opening

WORTHINGTON - It was a long road to travel, but Maria Parga got to cut the red ribbon in a ceremony to celebrate the grand re-opening of her grocery store, Mini Market Lupita, on Friday afternoon.

Parga started her small store in Worthington as a video rental, adding groceries in 1994. Mini Market Lupits was the first ethnic store in Worthington for Latino families. Her business later expended to include a restaurant.

Darlene DeWitt, who provides healthy eating education, told the audience that it had been a long journey, fraught with scheduling issues, construction timelines and more. When Parga first wrote for a grant from through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Good Food Access Program, her freezers weren't working. She was one of eight statewide projects to receive the funding used to purchase and install new freezers and refrigeration.

She also became certified as a store that accepts WIC, which was a bit of an adventure. Now, when you walk in to Mini Market Lupita, you'll find signs denoting WIC foods, healthy choices for grains, fruits and vegetables and educational materials for healthy eating and cooking.

Smiling from ear to ear, Parga cut the ribbon, then turned to thank the people who helped her travel the road to a healthier store. She acknowledged leaders from First State Bank Southwest and also thanked Amy Woitalowitz, who helped her write for the grant.

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