MERIDEN – Before the pandemic, Frida Cano worked at an Amazon warehouse in Wallingford, unaware that by the end of 2021 there would be a major change for her and her family.
Cano, 25, is the owner of the recently opened Viva la Vida, a restaurant located at 1140 E. Main St., in the former home of Mi Puebla Mexican Cuisine.
Cano’s family knew the owners of Mi Puebla, who contacted them and told them they were looking to sell the business.
Cano was hesitant at first but ultimately decided to buy the business because she felt she, her mom and brother would make a great team.
Although she became the official owner of the business in early December, her family had been training with the previous owner for about a month before.
Ahead of Viva la Vida’s opening on December 18, Cano said his family and friends helped give the restaurant a new look, including painting and decorating.
The interior is a tribute to Frida Kahlo, a prominent Mexican painter. He has a portrait of Kahlo and a poster of his latest painting. The restaurant was named after this painting, which includes the Spanish phrase “Viva la Vida”.
The menu offers a variety of loaded fries, burrito bowls, huaraches and quesadillas with a homemade tortilla.
For Cano, running the restaurant is “exciting,” she said.
“I love to see families come together here and enjoy our food, get positive feedback from them,” Cano said.
Cano, his brother and his mother have always cooked for the family.
“My mom is especially known for her tamales,” Cano said.
Cano said they still wanted to own a restaurant but didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.
“It’s a dream come true,” she said. “We came to America with very little, next to nothing, and knowing how far we are now is just a huge success for us. “
The family moved from Mexico to the United States in 2003, when Cano was seven years old.
Cano’s brother Yael Cano said seeing his family running the restaurant was “surreal”.
“We are delighted to serve our community in Meriden and give them a taste of what we love to do,” he said.
Rocio Torres, from Wallingford, complimented Cano’s mother Clafira Pacheco on her cooking as he waited for an order for lunch recently.
“She’s a good person, every time I come over she treats me well,” Torres said.
The restaurant is open Monday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information on Viva la Vida, call 203-440-4114.
[email protected]: @KarlaSantosNews