Reason #33 to Live & Die in Los Angeles (In No Particular Order): Vallarta

by christypaul2013


Also known as Vallarta Supermarket and Carniceria Vallarta, VALLAAAARRTTTAAAAA is a Latino supermarket chain. The first Vallarta opened its door (I assume it was only one door, since the whole place was only 1,000 ft^2) in 1985 to the citizens of sunny, porny Van Nuys, CA.

Big, Beautiful Vallarta.

Big, Beautiful Vallarta

The owner, Enrique Gonzalez Sr., grew up on a small subsistence farm in Jalisco, Mexico. He immigrated to the US in the 1960s under a guest worker program, and worked in the fields harvesting asparagus and tomatoes. In 1974, he opened a bar called La Cabaña with $2,000 ($10,000 in today’s worthless money) he’d saved from a 14-year stint at Corky’s restaurant. After the bar came a nightclub called Puerto Vallarta (guess where Vallarta got its name), and when PV burned down, Gonzalez decided to rent out the space instead of re-opening the club, and used the rent money to start his first grocery store.

VegeTable... Yeah, I Just Came Up With That

VegeTable… Yeah, I Just Came Up With That

Although the small store got off to a slow start, often taking in a mere $15 a day, the first Vallarta began to generate a profit in 1986, and with the help of his four brothers, Gonzalez opened another location in San Fernando Valley: “The key to success is that the profits of the business have to be reinvested in it.” The family capitalized on serving the growing Hispanic community of Los Angeles, which, whew… Apple stock and Vallarta in 1985, amiright? No. Apple’s share price on May 31, 1985 was $1.98. ONE DOLLAR AND NINETY-EIGHT-BUTT-FUDGING CENTS! I wasn’t born yet, and I had no money. What is YOUR excuse?


Strawberries, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Limes, Kale, Green Onions, Radishes, MEGA YAM y uno Mamey Dulce.

^^($16.78 for Everything on this Table, $12.84 if you don’t count the fancy Mamey.)^^

Anyway, they got 41 stores now. We go there a lot. The meat section always smell nasty to me, but I still buy carnitas, chicharróns, and goat birria from the taqueria. Buy that shit up… And I buy meat when it’s too cheap to refuse (99¢/lb chicken breast? Damn you, Vallarta!). Eh, just cook it that day, you’ll be fine.

At $3.49/lb, this Mamey Dulce might have been the most expensive produce at Vallarta

At $3.49/lb, this Mamey Dulce might have been the most expensive produce at Vallarta

Plus, you get to try new shtuff all the whenever you build up the nerve. This ^fruit^ up ^here^ is soft and salmon colored on the inside, and apparently tastes like sweet potato, pumpkin, cherry and almonds. I… will post.

And, if you’re interested, here are some lovely receipts:


2lbs Strawberries + 3.5lbs Tomatoes + 2.5lb Yam + 2 Bunches of Kale + 4 Bunches of Green Onions = $9!!!

photo 2

Went Back in for Carnitas and had to get Mamey and Taco Fixins

photo 4

One Pound of Carnitas and a Big Ass Mamey Agua Fresca

Fuck couponing for 12 packs of soda! The CRV will always make it a bad deal! Buy produce, don’t be stuck up about it being organic, and get on to living healthier and cheaper (no tax on groceries, but that’s another post).