La Experiencia Mexicana.
This is Mexico in Saint Paul! Authentic deli, groceries, and beautiful arts and crafts lovingly selected directly from artisans in Mexico.
Tomas and Maria Silva are the original owners, from humble beginnings in Aguascalientes, Mexico, in 1979, with minimal education, mostly street smarts, and plenty of vision and faith, they took over a small 800sq ft market and converted it to El Burrito Market, dba El Burrito Mercado. Offering only dry Mexican groceries and tortillas, one cash register, and a van in which Tomas would use on weekends to go to Chicago to load up on merchandise.
Mexican immigrants, Tomas & Maria Silva from Aguascalientes, Mexico expanded El Burrito Mercado into a family legacy with their three children, Milissa, Tomas and Suzanne, it is a St Paul mainstay offering a unique Mexican, Latino marketplace experience. El Burrito features specialty groceries, cooking spices & peppers including fresh produce, unique meats, full deli, restaurant, cantina, catering, food truck, imported gifts & home decor.
1979 El Burrito Mercado, take over a tiny 800sq ft market.
1983 Tomas and Maria Silva venture into a larger size market (about 2000sq ft) expanding a small kitchen to feature to go foods like burritos, carnitas, tamales, pan dulce (Mexican bakery).
1995 El Burrito Mercado remodels the 13,000sq ft historic Henly’s Furniture Building, and is still their existing St. Paul location today. Adding a kitchen, cafeteria style restaurant, deli, bakery, butcher shop.
1996 Maria Silva opens “Maria’s Imports”, a specialty market importing Mexican gifts, home decor and furniture. Silva family still imports from Mexico and the items are featured in the mercado and restaurants.
2001 Silva’s opened El Burrito Wholesale Foods, they were the first to introduce Goya food products to Minnesota and were pioneers in the distribution of Mexican groceries in the twin cities.
2002 Silva El Burrito opens in Shakopee, now closed.
2012 El Burrito Mercado expands cafeteria style restaurant to include a full service restaurant and cantina, adding 50seats.
2015 Tomas & Maria Silva retire and pass business to daughters Milissa, Suzanne and granddaughter Analita.
2016 Silva’s expand restaurant again now seating additional 50, includes buffet, live music, private space, add an outdoor patio, seating an additional 50more customers. Full seating now almost 200.
2017 Silva’s with brother Tomas Silva, jr. open El Burrito on Wheels Food Truck, co-owned and operated by Tomas Silva, jr.
2018 Silva’s take over the former Pepito’s Family Mexican Restaurant.