when our parents moved from New York City to purchase a small general store here in Haines City. Gabriel and Esperanza Tejada had worked in New York City since the early 1970’s owning and operating corner bodega’s, supermarkets, laundromats and small retail shops. The decision to come to Florida was borne out of a desire for a healthier lifestyle and to establish roots in a place their family could spend time and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. Along with their son, Juan and his wife, Magaly, they leased a small space where the current fish market is now located. They called it “El Zocalo” (The Square) and sought to cater to the heavy migrant population offering general goods and produce. Over the next 8 years the business grew to include a full blown butcher shop and expanded its produce and dry goods offerings.
Sadly in this time Gabriel Tejada passed away and soon after the business was faced with a bigger challenge of whether to accept an offer to move into a much bigger space thus becoming literally a ‘super’ market. The challenge was taken in 2010 and the business moved next door to its new 16,000 square foot home. The children were now at the helm of running the business as Juan Tejada, Gabriel’s youngest son and his daughter Ibelice Delaney embarked on opening a full service supermarket specializing in Latin foods from South America and the Caribbean. The supermarket offered 5 core specialties in a full service butcher, bakery, dry goods and produce as well as a tortilla maker (tortilleria) and a hot food restaurant all under one roof!
Through hard work and determination and a lot of nervous praying Zocalo Supermarket has grown and succeeded to present day. Although Gabriel did not get to see the new store his wife Esperanza did giving it her blessing before she passed away in 2011. Business increased so much in the ensuing years that the decision was made to purchase the building and land where the original Zocalo once was and the present day Zocalo Fish Market Plaza now stands. Juan and Ibelice continue their proud parents legacy by owning and operating the fish market serving fresh fish from around the world and offering a grill next door where diners can taste fish from the market counter or pick something from the changing menu on site. We look forward to growing with you in our new venture and welcome your feedback as we are here to satisfy your fresh seafood desires.
Look forward to enjoying this venture with everyone and thanks for all the well wishes and “good lucks!”
Juan Tejada and Ibelice Delaney