In 1980, Don Miguel González Jiménez and his son, Miguel González Reynoso, spearheaded a family project: The opening of a Mexican mercado on 722 N. Anaheim Boulevard in Anaheim. The family was so strapped for cash that they kept the name of the previous business: Northgate Market, which had been previously run by Koreans who’d have to make runs to buy tortillas and other Mexican products, so limited the demand was for Mexi goods back then.
The rest, of course, is history. Northgate González Markets is now one of the largest Latino supermarket chains in the United States, with 41 locations from San Diego to Culver City to El Monte to a chingo in Orange County. They just opened a mega-one in Anaheim that Edwin rightfully called a “Mexican-food Disneyland.” But with progress comes a reordering of things, and that’s why Northgate is planning to shut down its original store later this month, according to sources.
Loyal #1 customers can go to Northgate #3, just down La Palma Avenue on East Street, at 1150 N. East Street, Anaheim. There’s no word yet on what Northgate (which—full disclosure—employs my dad, and which my family has shopped at my entire life) will do with the building housing the original market. May I humbly suggest turning the small place into a Northgate González museum? No, seriously: Mexican foodways don’t get enough respect in this country, and showing the world what Northgate created would be a great way to remedy that. Besides, it would be TOTALLY better than lame-ass Muzeo. down the street Hey, Don Oscar, Victor, y Miguel: Just make sure there’s an aguas frescas booth, ¿sale?