“We could not find one single coffee shop in Minnesota with Latin influences from our countries,” said Lilliana Feliciano, an owner and manager of the ALM Corner Café. “We all have a passion for coffee and decided to open our own place.”
ALM Corner Café, 3301 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis
Hours: M-F 7-7, Sat 8-7, Sun 8-3
They also can be seen at a fundraiser for Jewish Community Center on Sunday, February 26 starting at 1 p.m. www.zumbatropicalminnesota.com
ALM Cafe has a menu mix of Venezuelan, Puerto Rican, and Mexican foods and some traditional American items. The cafe opened in May 2011.
Each and every customer at ALM’s is served by one of the owners themselves. All pastries and desserts are baked in house and main dishes are prepared and cooked on site.
The three owners are Ana Maria Pinto from Venezuela, Lilliana Feliciano Agosto from Puerto Rico, and Martha Garces from Mexico. All three women have a passion for coffee and have run food businesses in their countries. According to Feliciano:
“Martha has a coffee shop named ‘Cafe Latte’ in her hometown in Mexico. She has owned and operated it for around 10 years, bringing her experience and one of her sons -Sebastian- into our project.
“Ana has worked in the food business in her country, Venezuela, for around 12 years as her family, have owned and operated different food small businesses.
“As for me, during college I spent several years assisting one of my aunts in her restaurant in Puerto Rico ‘Los Arcos’ where I learning the restaurant business.”
“Ninety per cent of our customers are from Northeast,” said Feliciano. “Our Latin customers are from Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, some from Puerto Rico but not many from Mexico. I don’t know why.”
Two of the more popular dishes are the cachapas, a corn pancake stuffed however you’d like, and arepas, a Venezuelan flat bread.
Alm’s is very proud of their Venezuelan cheese. “We don’t serve just any kind of cheese,” said Feliciano. “Our cheese is an original Venezuelan recipe called de mauo and guayanes.” Their supplier is a company in Texas.
The most popular drinks are fresh brews of Mexican chocolate, chai tea, and mochas. Some customer even asks for a “dirty chai,” a coffee mixed with a chai tea drink.
The American foods are an all-day-long breakfast, sandwiches and salads.
Quesitos and guava pastries