Uncle Tony’s fills the location formerly occupied by Hope Superfoods in Alpine Creek Shopping Center.
New business owner Rayamarie Chavez, 28, has taken over the shop and is making it her own with some guidance from her father and business partner, David Chavez.
David Chavez says the new iteration of the organic food shop is named for Marie’s uncle, Tony who passed away this year.
“My daughter has always been a builder, coming up with ideas, wanting to be an entrepreneur. Right as Hope Superfoods closed, Raya was growing her interest in organic foods. She said she wanted to bring good food, you know real ingredients with low or no sugar to the community. So she took over and renamed it for her uncle Tony who passed away this year,” Chavez said.
Rayamarie says she believes the name will represent good for their family while serving the community at large.
“We actually opened the second week of January and then had to close in March because of COVID. Seventy percent of our community is elderly so I thought it was best to close down for a bit and in consideration of the community to make sure we kept things safe. Now that we can source enough supplies to keep things sanitized and we have established procedures for safety, we feel confident enough to open up again,” Rayamarie Chavez said.
She says she is embracing the challenge and running with the reopening with increasingly longer hours.
Rather than changing much about the menu established by Carolyn Connelly under Hope Superfoods, Rayamarie Chavez says she wants to provide the same type of menu items but improve on what is already established.
“Carolyn had already designed different recipes for different ailments, engineered for a healthy lifestyle,” Chavez said.
Rayamarie Chavez plans to keep most of the menu intact while adding several other options for wider variety.
“We did some research at the Alpine Community Center and one area that we heard was kind of short was coffee so we’re bringing in Peet’s Coffee. Another big request was for salads and sandwiches,” David Chavez said.
He also says he’d like to add in more family appeal. In addition to adding in some meal prep items for families to grab and go, he wants parents to know they can bring their family there to relax on the patio outside the store.
“Where Carolyn had it set up for mature, older adults, we’re trying to add little touches so that everybody has something they like about the store. Uncle Tony’s to me means family, like it’s comfortable for Grandma, the kids, everyone,”David Chavez said.
The new owners plan to add family-friendly games outside so the atmosphere of the shop is as wholesome as the food.
Rayamarie Chavez says the best part of running the business is seeing everyone smile when they come in.
“Or, when they haven’t had a good day, to turn their day around whether that is making them smile or just adding some extra bananas to their acai bowl is amazing,” Rayamarie Chavez said.
“My background is half Mexican and half Italian so I’m all about eating. Feed the family,” she said.
“I’m really thankful the Alpine community welcomed us as business owners,” David Chavez said.