Family-run RIA Market attracts diverse clientele downtown

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In the middle of tall Downtown buildings, well hidden is a grocery store that is the only market in the area to serve area residents.

RIA Market is a locally owned business run by the De La Torre family. Located across the street from Café Central and near San Jacinto Plaza at 204 N. Oregon St., the store sells fresh produce, grocery items, Mexican products and cooked food to go.

“What we sell the most is the subs, tortas and sandwiches,” said Rosa De La Torre, one of the owners.

De La Torre says they are busiest at lunchtime when people are looking for something to eat. Ready-to-go options include cut fruit, kale salad, ham and cheese sandwich with jalapenos and chile relleno plate.

Customers can also order a deli sandwich or burger with an aqua fresca on the side from their food counter. The grocery also has a butcher shop.

De La Torre said her father used to have a butcher shop in Juarez and she was raised in the business. When the opportunity to purchase RIA came up, the family jumped at the opportunity. Her father is again the butcher and the employees are family members: three sisters, one brother, brother in law and her father.

Ria Market owners, the De La Torre Family, from left: Irma, Rosa, Juan and Jorge De La Torre. Photo by Jackie Ortiz, Journalism in July.

Ria Market owners, the De La Torre Family, from left: Irma, Rosa, Juan and Jorge De La Torre. Photo by Jackie Ortiz, Journalism in July.

“Working as a family is nice and positive,” De La Torre said. “If we don’t see one another often, we have the market to see each other.” 

The market’s name comes from the three owners first initials.  “It is mine, my sister’s and my brother in laws first initials put together – Rosa, Irma and Alberto,” De La Torre explained. It all started with playing with words then eventually Rosa’s husband, Alberto, said “RIA”. That’s when the market’s name became a reality. Today shoppers say it’s one of nicest markets around downtown.

All of RIA Market’s products are American-made. When asked why people visit their market, De La Torre said it’s the products and low price. The market just turned seven years old last month and De La Torre said their business is doing well. 

“You would think it would be just a Latin market but since Downtown has been changing; having lots of construction work, we have been getting a variety of people come here – customers of all colors,” she said. “Shoppers vary from a homeless person to attorneys.”

All of the De La Torres enjoy working with one another at the same place, having their own market. It is easy to see by their customer service. They say they are all part of RIA market and proud of it. “Estas son mis hijas, ” Juan De La Torre said with a big smile while posing for a photo outside the store.

RIA Market is open Monday through Friday from 8a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

This article was produced as part of Borderzine’s Journalism in July 2016 summer workshop for high school students sponsored by the Dow Jones News Fund and the University of Texas at El Paso Department of Communication.

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