The Los Portales Mercado Mexican supermarket plans to cater not only to the Latino population but to anyone wanting the real-deal in Mexican food.

The Los Portales Mercado Mexican supermarket plans to cater not only to the Latino population but to anyone wanting the real-deal in Mexican food.

The grand opening of the new store was held Dec. 13. Located at 1924 Brice Road, south of East Livingston Avenue, the 13,000-square-foot, family-owned market offers a variety of unique products that come directly from Mexico and South America.

Owner Sergio Perez Saldana and his wife, Maria, also own the El Manjar De Los Portales Mexican restaurant at 6006 E. Livingston Ave. which opened in May. He said they chose to locate the market in Reynoldsburg because of its location and opportunity.

"We looked around the city and found this location and area is nice and we think the Latino population is growing here, but we are for everybody," Perez said.

Reynoldsburg development director Lucas Haire said the store is a unique addition to the area. He said it's good to have businesses open up in that part of the city because it shows there is still opportunity there.

Besides himself and his wife, Perez said two people were hired to help in the daily operations of the market. He said what differentiates Los Portales Mercado from other markets in the area is its mostly Latino-oriented line of products.

"In the city of Reynoldsburg, there is not like a really Latino supermarket and we feel we are offering to the people a lot of different stuff, you know," Perez said. "We have a lot of American produce, but we try to put in a little bit of everything so whoever comes in they can find whatever they are looking for."

The market offers competitively priced brand-name products from south of the border that Perez said are specially shipped to them through a distributor in Chicago.

On the shelves are cans of Frijoles Pintos and Junaitas Mexican Style Hominy, Sabritas-brand "papas fritas adobadas," or spicy-hot potato chips, plus jars of authentic salsas -- all hecho en Mexico -- and "Café Sello Rojo" ground coffee, direct from Columbia.

The market also carries a variety of fresh meats, seafood and deli products featuring weekly specials on select items.

There are also several hundred different kinds of spices for sale, all for cooking authentic Mexican-style food.

Los Portales Mercado does not carry the familiar brand-name bags of nachos found in most American supermarkets. Instead, it offers a variety of different brands of homemade-style corn-maize tostadas.

In addition to food products, the market offers gift and household items, including cooking utensils such as wooden tortilla makers, and a variety of piñatas that hang from the ceiling.

Perez said he likes the business he is in, both with the restaurant and market, especially since his father and relatives owned their own successful businesses in Mexico.

"The plan is, we hope we do good here so we can grow and get to that point," he said.

The market is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. It is located at the southwest corner Brice Road and East Livingston Avenue, near Odd Lots.

dowen@thisweeknews.com