June 27, 2020 Rebrand BBQ Recap
Stories & Moments
A rainy forecast threatened to dampen on Paraiso Tropical’s plans to celebrate its rebrand and its customers last June 27th, 2020, but it turned out that the weather was, thankfully, much better than expected!
The Latino BBQ ran from 11am-4pm at both Paraiso North & Paraiso South, with staff wearing their newly designed uniforms and customers lining up for a free meal: their choice of choripan (chorizo in a bun, kind of like a hot dog!) or tacos, as well as chips and a refreshing drink (flavours included grenadilla and lulo, a fruit found in Colombia). Those who made a purchase were gifted with a surprise tote bag sporting the new logo!
Considering Paraiso’s store anniversary was last April and could not be celebrated due to restrictions of public gatherings at the time, the Rebrand BBQ was, in a way, a belated store anniversary as well. Better late than never! In keeping health & safety precautions in mind with the continuing COVID-19 situation, all customers who did not have their own mask were given a mask.
Since the event was, most of all, a customer appreciation, we share with you some shopper stories from Paraiso North that day. We also managed to have a moment to chat with the store’s founder, Jesus Gonzalez Sr., along with the MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood (the area in which Paraiso North is located in), Janis Irwin!
JESUS GONZALEZ SR., founder
How have you seen Paraiso Tropical grow over the years?
We started this business in 1991. We’ve [relocated several times], and now, my son is running this business: one in the south side and one in the north side. As soon as the many communities moved to Edmonton, we kept growing and growing, and we imported more products from different countries.
What do you think about the new logo?
We got a rebrand, because we wanted to change the image. I think it’s more attractive now.
Do you have any words for the customers that you would like to share?
Yeah, I appreciate the many customers. Every week, we have different customers. So I would like to say thank you and welcome everybody who comes to see Paraiso Tropical in Edmonton.
JANIS IRWIN, MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood
How long have you been shopping here at Paraiso?
On and off for the last couple of years. I moved here in 2016, so I try to remember to come more often. Sometimes, I forget and go to the [other] local grocery stores. You gotta support these shops, right? Family-run businesses that do a lot in our community.
What do you think of the new logo? It’s great! I’m loving how many people have been here [at the BBQ], too. So good!
Do you have any recommendations on food to try here?
I’ve had the pupusas for sure, but I’m gonna try these tacos. They look amazing!
Any words for people who live in the area? Yeah, if you haven’t been to Paraiso, you need to go, ‘cause it’s an amazing, family-run business. And I just wanna encourage everybody to shop local. Now’s the time to do so, and you won’t regret it.
How long have you been shopping at Paraiso?
About 18 months since I moved to the neighbourhood. I just live two blocks away.
What was your first impression? Oh, it’s great. It’s so cool to have authentic ingredients. It’s actually a real joy.
What are your favourite items to buy here?
Any advice for new shoppers?
You have to try it. It’s gonna be good!
How long have you been shopping here?
Oh, for a few years. I [usually] shop at the one in Calgary Trail.
Are you originally here from Canada or somewhere else?
I’m from the Caribbean.
What would you say are your top products to purchase here?
The tacos and then, the pupusas – I like those.
Do you have any recommended Caribbean products that people can try?
The hot pepper [sauce] maybe [laughs]. The one that’s looking at you [through the window] – all those hot sauces.
What would you put with them?
Anything. Meat, spices…
Any words for people who’ve never tried shopping here before?
Try it. Yeah, I like it, but I’m used to Spanish [Latin] food, right? I’ve been to Spanish-speaking areas several times. I love the spiciness. That’s why I was wondering about those little salsas that they’re serving at the BBQ.
How long have you been shopping here?
Do you live in this neighbourhood? I live waaay by 118th & 48 Street.
Are you originally from Canada or somewhere else? I’m originally from Chile, South America.
What kind of food do you make?
I make tacos and stuff like that. I buy tortillas, tacos, and the hot sauce as well.
Any advice for people who’ve never tried shopping here before?
My advice is: you come here and they treat you good!
Check out more photos from the event!