Mis Raíces Café, a New Family-Run Coffee Shop Opens On Grand Avenue

Clara Sánchez owns Mis Raíces Café, a new coffee shop on Grand Avenue in Phoenix.
Clara Sánchez owns Mis Raíces Café, a new coffee shop on Grand Avenue in Phoenix. Mike Madriaga
Clara Sánchez named her soon-to-open coffee shop Mis Raíces Café after her "roots," and the name comes with a double shot of meaningfulness.

"I'm originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco," she says. "I'm from a little town where all the people are kind and know each other. I treat the customers as if you're having guests coming to your house, making them feel welcome. That's what I'm bringing over here to Phoenix."

The barista's new coffee spot is nestled between Earth Plant Based Cuisine, El Charro Hipster Bar and Cafe, and Testal Mexican Kitchen on Grand Avenue. The quaint 900-square-foot cafe is adorned with handpainted dolls and vases from Mexico. The walls are a mixture of brick and Talavera tile wallpaper.

On a recent visit, she made four ice-cold drinks. All were rich in flavor and quenching in the Phoenix heat.
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The new cafe serves coffee drinks inspired by Mexican desserts and candies.
Mike Madriaga
The first two were iced coffee beverages topped with whipped cream and delectable drizzles.

"That's mazapan, it's Mexican candy, and it's very fragile," she says. "You get the little crumbles of the peanuts. The other drink is a dulce de leche, it's called cajeta in Spanish, and it's more on the sweeter side."

Cajeta has a more liquid consistency and a lighter shade of brown than caramel.

"It's typical in Mexico," Sánchez says. "You can use it for dipping your churro and putting it on pancakes."

Speaking of sweets, they have inspired most of the menu.

"We're gonna be changing the menu every week, so it's going to be pretty much pastries, desserts, and cookies," she says. "This week, we'll have cinnamon buns, confetti scones, churro cheesecakes, chocolate chip, and coconut cookies."

She's also making treats for patrons who are vegan or on a low-carb diet.

Back in Guadalajara — about 300 miles west of Mexico City and 1,200 miles south of Phoenix — she helped her parents run a tortilleria. Sánchez relocated to the United States when she was 18 years old, and she now lives in Goodyear with her family and two children. But she holds close everything her parents taught her.

"I learned from my parents how to treat customers and how you manage a business," she says.

"Please try this; it's a mango smoothie. In Spanish, we call it a licuado de fruta. For now, we are going to keep it simple, but, in the future, we are thinking of adding Chamoy drizzle and Tajin, and we can make a mangonada."

Chamoy is a red-colored syrup that's sweet and sour and spicy and salty, all at the same time. Tajin is a sea salt spice with chile peppers and lime. Next, Sánchez serves a red-to-pink-to-white gradient iced watermelon drink with a splash of lemonade.

"It's called a refresher; it has some plant-based energy made from the green coffee bean from the cascara tree," she says.

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Mis Raíces Café is located at 1325 Grand Avenue, Unit 3, near downtown Phoenix.
Mike Madriaga
The barista-turned entrepreneur mainly utilizes coffee beans imported from Chiapas, Mexico, the state in Mexico, that in her opinion, harvests the best coffee.

Before pursuing the brick-and-mortar shop just outside of the Rosevelt Row Art District, Sánchez sold cold  brew concentrates and bags of coffee beans emblazoned with the Mis Raices Café logo at pop-ups and street markets throughout the valley.

"I created that logo," she explained. "If you see the 'R' and the 'S' in the 'RAICES,' the 'R' stands for my husband's last name and the 'S' for my last name. So one hand is his hand, and the other is my hand, holding what we have built and planned over the years."

Two leaves sprouting from the hands in the logo represent her children, continuing the new cafe's theme of family and celebrating your roots.

Mis Raices Café will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, July 16 at 9:30 a.m. and will remain open until 5 p.m. that day. Following the ceremony, Sánchez plans to open the shop at 6 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Mis Raíces Café

1325 Grand Avenue, Unit 3
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