Nini’s Bodega, Downtown El Paso’s Newest Family-Run Store, is a Must-Visit!
If you’re not familiar with what a Bodega is, it is a small neighborhood convenience store found in many cities worldwide, but it is a particularly iconic institution in New York City.
Bodegas are often referred to as “the heart of the city,” because they are more than just places to buy snacks, household items, and other necessities and that’s the case for one family-owned bodega that opened their doors this past March, Nini’s Bodega.
Nini’s Bodega, which is located right on the corner of Texas St. & Florence in Downtown El Paso, 601 Texas Ave, is a place where paninis are crafted with love and community connections are served with sides of smiles.
Angel Raya is the owner of Nini’s Bodega. He has always had a love for New York-style culture and had dreams of bringing a bodega to his neighborhood.
“People always think I’m from New York but I’m not,” Said Angel. “I just love that culture and growing up downtown I remember that we would have to drive far just to get groceries so I wanted to bring a bodega to the area so locals won’t have to worry about driving so far just to get a few groceries.”
Nini’s Bodega is family-run. Angel’s sister, Jen, is the general manager and their mom helps out in the kitchen and with whatever else is needed.
For Angel, his mom, and his sister, bringing something new and different to their hometown was very important to them and they take pride in it.
“We got the name “Ninis' from the sandwiches we serve. We serve delicious sandwiches, chicken chipotle, turkey pesto, and pizza paninis, it's in the name. That's what we are all about at Ninis.” said Jen.
Opening up Nini’s Bodega was something the family wanted to do for a while now, but unfortunately, they had to put this new business on pause.
“We had a setback and my brother was diagnosed with a spinal tumor and we had to get his health in order first,” said Jen. “We have been able to overcome his illness and it's making his dreams come true. I am very happy to be part of it.”
Nini’s was officially opened back on March 17, 2023. Since then Nini’s has been trying its best to serve the community and welcome many more to their bodega.