MERCEDES — Hector Sosa grew up shopping at Emilio’s Grocery, just like many locals did over the decades.
Now he owns the store and has renamed it Sosa’s Stop N Go.
Today, you can find Sosa working the register and greeting the neighborhood customers with a friendly smile.
When the store closed suddenly last year, he jumped at the opportunity to take over a successful small business and accomplish his dream of becoming a business owner.
Sosa, 44, now a Harlingen resident, took over the store in November. Emilio’s opened for business 55 years ago.
“I love the store, honestly,” said Justin Daniel Rodriguez. “It’s a lot closer to home, and a lot better.”
Rodriguez stopped at Sosa’s for a three liter soft drink to take home yesterday and has been promoting the store since it reopened.
The store opened officially this month. Sosa gave the inside of the store a complete makeover.
What hasn’t changed is the selection of snacks, cooked to order burgers, burritos, corndogs, cold drinks and convenience.
“I have always wanted my own business and I got it,” Sosa said. “My wife Diana stood by me taking over the store and it’s going very well.”
Sosa said he has been putting in 20 hours a day working at the store to make it operational.
Sosa even created jobs in the city as he hired a store manager and two cooks who prepare the food daily.
The store has a selection of groceries and a deli serving breakfast tacos in the morning and burgers and fried chicken in the afternoons.
“It’s pretty exciting owning the store,” Sosa said. “It was packed the first day with about 50 people inside at one time.”