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Víveres Calle del Agua, una tienda entrañable. "Víveres Calle del Agua", an endearing shop

English Version Vega de San Mateo is a town full of history and it keeps a lot of traditions such us those old shops usually called “tiendas de aceite y vinagre”. These shops are known for being small places where you can get a little of everything and they had a great importance by those time in towns like San Mateo before the opening of big supermarkets. Víveres Calle del Agua is one example of these local shops and we still keep them today. One of the peculiarities that it presents is its infrastructure. It is located in a building where we can distinguish constructions from two different periods. On the one hand, we can see a ground floor where the shop is. It is an old Canarian house that probably had a gabled roof that was removed in order to make a new construction in the upper part giving way to a façade with typical features of modernism, built at the beginning of the twentieth century. This shop is led by women who have a great experience in this sector. Mari Pino, the owner of the shop, has been working in the food sector for 35 years. 18 years ago, she saw the opportunity to open this business in San Mateo and since then she has the trust of people. The main characteristics that give more value to the shop are the close relationship with the client and the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables from Mercado Las Palmas and trusted local farmers. Furthermore, these products are not touched by all customers as it happens in supermarkets. Products are behind the counter and the sellers are responsible for their handling providing more hygiene. Therefore, it offers a higher quality that is valued by customers. This establishment is also a meeting point since many of its clients know each other and make their purchase there. As Mari Pino says, an example of the conversations we can listen here are the anecdotes of the elders of the town. They talk about how they lived during the dictatorship, the famine that took place here and the rationing system that was established in the islands when they made their purchases. Without a doubt, Víveres Calle del Agua is an endearing shop that not only favours the local economy by offering products from the islands, but also bring us culture and traditions, which makes the experience even more enriching.

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