A longtime Downtown Farmers Market vendor is spicing things up with a new location on Colville Street.
“Grandma’s Kitchen” will bring its authentic Mexican food to 36 Colville St. An open house at the new location will run 5-9 tonight. The space previously was home to Real Foods Walla Walla. Before that, it was the original location for The Garden Vegan Café.
The opening is the fulfillment of a longtime dream for Josefina Cruz — “Doña Jose” — who’s been bolstered with the help of her son, Manny. Together the two will prepare traditional sopes, huaraches, crispy flautas, breakfast burritos and fish tacos with pineapple salsa.
Cruz was featured in the Union-Bulletin’s Voices from the Walla Walla Valley video series that ran late 2010 and early 2011. This is what was written in the introduction:
“Josefina Cruz, 77, was born in a small village in the state of Hidalgo, Mex., where her family lived without plumbing or electricity. She fondly recalls fetching water from a well to bring back to the house and grilling insects with peppers and vegetables since meat was a rare treat.
Cruz moved to Mexico City, where she met her future husband, Manuel Perez. On Sept. 19, 1985, a massive earthquake rattled their apartment building. The family rushed outside, but Manuel ran back inside to rescue their youngest child, Ricardo, who was 2 years old. Just as he entered, the building collapsed, killing both him and their child. Cruz and the other five children survived.
Cruz’s youngest surviving son, Manuel, served in Kuwait with the U.S. Navy until 2005. After returning stateside, he encouraged his mother to apply for a visa so she could live with him. Cruz has lived in Walla Walla since 2007.