Tucked into a corner strip mall on Airport Road and Commons Drive are the two ethnic food markets of Destin. Side by side they sit eager to bring new flavors to the palates of Destin residents and visitors. Let’s take a peek inside both of them to see just what is in store!

Destin Euro Market

The Destin Euro Market is going on it’s third year of offering a variety of specialty European foods to the area. New owners Tony and Lana Daniel, who took over the market in March, have already expanded the market and have plans in the near future to open a full deli. Tony explained that when the prior owners told them he was considering selling the business the couple wasted no time snagging up their favorite market.

Here is a sampling of some of the most popular items at Euro Market including meats and cheeses.
Here is a sampling of some of the most popular items at Euro Market including meats and cheeses.

“My wife really pushed for it, she was born in Russia and raised in the Ukraine,” said Tony. “When she found out about the store, she came in and her eyes lit up because she had missed the food from her home country.”

The market carries food items from more than 10 European countries including Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Hungry, Bulgaria, Poland, Macedonia, Turkey and the Czech Republic. When asked what the most popular item in the store is, Tony said there are actually a few.

“Our cheeses, breads and meats are some of our most popular,” he said. “Our Bulgarian fetas are world renown cheeses, people come in here and try them and get hooked.”

In fact, Tony said that in the near future they hope to add a tasting station to give customers the change to try before they buy. He said that he believes the European population is growing in Destin, but he doesn’t want to limit the wares to those who know them already, instead he wants everyone to stop by and try what the store has to offer.

“Once Americans try something, they like it and come back and become customers for life,” he said.

What type groceries are offered?

The well organized store has canned and jarred goods lined up on one aisle, candies, cookies and cakes on another, packaged breads on yet another and of course an aisle of imported wine and beer. Along the back wall are refrigerators and freezers filled with cheeses and meats such as smoked fish, caviar, feta and polish sausages. There are also grab and go ice cream bars, candies and sodas near the front register.

Cooked or prepared food?

No, but be on the lookout a deli and lunch service may be coming in the near future!

Location: 1209 Airport Road, Destin. Phone: 850-424-7744

Website: https://www.facebook.com/DestinEthnicFoods/?fref=ts

Hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tienda La Mexicana

It feels like a fiesta as soon as you walk in the doors of Tienda La Mexicana as piñatas and bright Mexican banners fill the room. Owner Cynthia Marquez and her daughter, Hayley run the small Latin American store that has been in Destin now for 11 years.

Hayley and Cynthia Marquez are the owners of La Tienda Mexicana in Destin.
Hayley and Cynthia Marquez are the owners of La Tienda Mexicana in Destin.

“We carry a lot of Mexican, Central American and Brazilian goods,” said Cynthia. “We also have goods from Honduras and Guatemala, those are our two big ones (countries).”

The mother-daughter duo, originally from Atlanta, said the most popular item in the store is El Milagro tortillas which are corn tortillas sold in paper wrappers.

“The factory is two streets over from my mom’s house in Atlanta,” said Cynthia. “We also carry Mexican sweet breads that we get from Panama City every three days.”

Cynthia explained that she originally opened the store in 2005 after finding a need for Latin American goods in Destin.

“We originally opened in 2005, sold it in 2009 and then re-bought it in 2015,” she said. “We have expanded and redone everything since we took it back over.”

Since last year, Cynthia has added a To-Go taco and Mexican plate kitchen to the back of the store, added inventory and variety to the grocery side, and launched a cake business offering the famous Mexican tres leches (three milks) cakes and other sweet treats.

“Our thing is we are turning into a full to-go kitchen,” she said. “We cook all day everyday and it’s fresh made by our chef Gabriel Jimenez from Mexico City.”

As for Hayley, a sophomore in high school, she said her favorite part of helping run the store is meeting the many cultures of Destin.

“I like how you see different people come in, one minute you have Hispanics and then Guatemalans,” she said. “And you will not find a more helpful person than my mom. She’s a good boss and a good mom.”

What type groceries are offered?

Tienda La Mexicana offers a small selection of produce, refrigerated cheeses, sour creams and meats, frozen meats and other goods, packaged dry goods such as cookies, cereal, chips and spices, toiletries, chilled drinks and frozen popsicles. There are also gift items such as soccer jerseys, boots and hats as well as piñatas, candy and snacks.

Cooked or prepared food?

Yes. Tienda La Mexicana offers seasoned meats ready for the grill as well as freshly made meals to-go. On the menu are tacos, tamales, quesadillas, and daily special plates made to order. Also available are Mexican and Guatemalan sweet breads and Aguas Frescas (freshly made flavored waters) and Horchata.

Location: 1209 Airport Road Suite 6, Destin. Phone: 850-837-3140

Website: https://www.facebook.com/tiendalamexicanadestin/?fref=ts

Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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