PLYMOUTH -- Marcelino and Celia Vargas opened up Mila’s Mini Market in 2008.
Evelin Vargas, daughter of Marcelino and Celia, helps run the family business with her siblings and parents.
As to how Mila’s came to be, Evelin Vargas sheds some light on the subject.
Vargas stated, “We’re actually originally from California when we decided to move. We had a restaurant and a bar, everything in California. It was getting a bit dangerous and my parents didn’t want to raise their three kids in that environment. We decided to move to Florida. It didn’t work out there either, but my dad had family up here so we packed up again. It was a nice safe community to raise us in, but my parents knew they couldn’t go big with anything here, that it needed to be small. Mila’s started out as a grocery, but we had a taco truck on the weekends. Only on the weekends. People liked it, we could tell right off the bat. We ended up getting rid of the truck and selling food inside, again on the weekends only. We didn’t have tables or chairs, everything was carry out, it was still mainly a grocery. Little by little, we converted to more food focused. Now we have tables and chairs, but it’s a small place we can only do so much. We’re an authentic Mexican restaurant though, despite our size.”
Mila’s is certainly a family business.
Each family member has a part to play.
Vargas explains, “My mom and my dad do all the cooking. My mom does a lot of the sides while my dad makes the main things. My dad definitely takes charge here while my mom makes all the food at home. I take care of customer service and the front part of the store and then the others help in the kitchen.”
What makes Mila’s different?
Vargas replies, “We are 100% authentic here. You can go to Mexico and get the same things. We get glass bottles of Coke and all the little things that really makes it look like you’re in Mexico. The goal is to feel like you’re in Mexico. Everything we have here we get from Mexico from the candy to the decor.
“People seem to like it,” laughs Vargas.
Vargas definitely has some favorites on the menu.
“Back in California, we focused a lot on seafood, but we don’t have a lot of seafood dishes here. However, the garlic shrimp is amazing for anyone who likes seafood. It comes with a side of rice, a side of the salad, and then we have tortilla shells to put it all in. Mexican sandwiches are great if you’re not a fan of seafood. We get fresh bread three times a week and we toast it and then we stuff it full of fresh authentic ingredients. These are definitely my favorite things on the menu,” explains Vargas.
Mila’s has won several awards in the last few years.
In 2017 Mila’s won the Taco Award for all of Northern Indiana.
Recently, Mila’s won a spot in the top ten taco spots in all of Indiana.
Mila’s also has The Best of Marshall County awards for their tacos and their restaurant in general.
The public certainly seems to agree with the general consensus.
Mia Valdez, a Mila’s regular, opens up about her extensive experience with the mini market.
Valdez gushes, “I come here at least three times a week. My husband loves it, my kids love it, I love it, my abuela loves it, everyone I’ve ever met loves it. Their ingredients are fresh and delicious, their customer service is impeccable, and their setup is adorable. I buy many things from their grocery section and not once have I been disappointed. Not only is it an amazing little shop, but they have the most amazing tacos I’ve ever had. No offense abuela!”
Tito Vasquez, another Mila’s regular, also has very strong opinions regarding Mila’s.
“I refuse to go anywhere else for tacos,” begins Vasquez. “Never have I ever been treated so kindly by staff members. I really feel like a part of the family. They know my order by heart, and if I ever feel like switching it up they give me a variety of options. Mila’s is the best Mexican restaurant, and the best restaurant I’ve ever been to. There should be a Mila’s in every town, every city, and every state. If you haven’t been to Mila’s, you haven’t lived.”
Mila’s Mini Market can be found at 213 E Jefferson St in downtown Plymouth or on their Facebook page.
If you'd like your business spotlighted by contributing writer Allena Peacock, contact Managing Editor Dana Draper at 574-931-3101 or email@example.com.