Azúcar brings Mexican coffee and pastries to West Valley City
Azucar’s white peppermint mocha latte. Photo: Kim Bojórquez/Axios
Salt Lakers don’t have to travel far to get their cafe de olla fix.
What’s happening: Azúcar, a Mexican coffee shop, opened its doors over the summer in West Valley City.
- It offers espresso-based beverages, pan dulce and ice cream.
- Their espresso beans come from Salt Lake City small-batch roaster Logos Coffee Company, while the coffee for cafe de olla is shipped from Mexico.
- Popular beverages include their Mexican mocha, horchata latte and cold brew cafe de olla, an iced interpretation of the classic.
Context: For Frida Guerrero, 24, who co-owns Azúcar, drinking coffee is like a religion.
- “You drink it in the morning, you have it for a dessert/snack in [the] midday and then you end your day with … having a coffee with your mom or your loved ones,” she told Axios.
- She drew inspiration to open her own store after visiting coffeehouses in Mexico City and Dubai last year and she wants her shop to become a gathering place for the community.
The intrigue: At first, Guerrero was hesitant to open a coffee shop in a state where the majority of residents belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- The church’s health law requires churchgoers to refrain from “hot drinks,” referring to coffee and tea.
Yes, but: Guerrero said West Valley City is home to a large Spanish-speaking community, and drinking coffee is an integral part of Latino culture.
- The business also offers non-coffee-based drinks.
The big picture: Guerrero represents the national trend of Latinos opening new businesses at a higher rate than any other ethnic group, according to the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.
- Guerrero said it feels “empowering” to be a Latina business owner. She added that while attending business school at Westminster, she felt out of place as most of her classmates were white and male.
Of note: Guerrero’s family is also behind the popular Mexican restaurant La Casa del Tamal in the same strip mall as Azúcar.