With her family roots in East Los Angeles, Jennifer Parra recalls the warmth and love of her grandmother's kitchen. She later discovered the true beauty of traditional Mexican foods while traveling throughout different regions of México, with her favorite visit being the Sunday market in Tlacolula, Oaxaca -- inspiring the name Mercado Lula.
"By far, my favorite experience while traveling in México is visiting the mercados. It is a way to gain a deeper understanding of the people and their offerings of not only that town, but the neighboring towns as well."
Jennifer's first introduction across the country of México was during a drive with friends from Tulum to Los Angeles in early 2000's. After seeing the diversity of what México had to offer, she decided to book a three month solo trip and studied Spanish while making lifelong friends and soaking up as much of the culture as possible. During her time living with a Zapotec family in Oaxaca, Jennifer studied back strap loom weaving with Mixtec master weavers. This gave her insight into the importance of tourism for the local economy there and throughout México.
Jennifer's first visit to the Sunday market in Tlacolula was like a dream. She fell in love with the sights, sounds, and smells and it quickly became an inspiration for her own creativity. After launching Mercado Lula in 2019 in the San Francisco Bay Area, she applied her restaurant and catering background making Mexican inspired box lunches for companies like Facebook, Stitch Fix, and Airbnb featuring a curated menu by Chef Manuel Benitez.
Now she is excited to offer an online store which features Mexican inspired goods for cooking and entertaining while highlighting all the wonderful things to discover about México.
The collection of goods found in the Mercado Lula online shop has been carefully curated to feature wonderful items that go to support several small businesses, mostly Latinx owned. Not to mention the cookbook authors featured in the shop as well who offer an authentic and genuine take on Mexican cuisine. Jennifer has personally met with or chatted with all of the small business owners listed below and she is inspired by each of them daily.
Thank you for your continued support!