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“5 Questions” is an occasional feature in which we ask five questions of Downey business and community leaders. This week’s participant is Carlos Galvan Jr., vice president of Amapola Market. Interview conducted by Eric Pierce
1.) Your father and grandfather founded Amapola in 1961. What was it like growing up in the grocery business?
From my earliest memories, Amapola has always been a part of my upbringing. The upside of growing up in the business was (and still is) interacting with our loyal customers and having them tell us why they enjoy our products. Plus, enjoying our freshly prepared food (especially our tortillas, which are the best, hands down!).
2.) Is it safe to assume that you’re a good cook?
I would consider myself a decent to good cook. My family does enjoy some of the dishes that I prepare, and my sons especially enjoy some of the steak dishes that I prepare.
3.) During the holiday season, it’s not unusual to see lines of people waiting outside your store to buy masa for tamales. What makes Amapola masa so good?
The recipe to make masa for tamales is not a secret, it’s the traditional recipe that is known all over Mexico. What makes our masa so good is that we prepare it on site every day, we cook our own corn, we mix the ingredients in the same fashion and we’ve been doing that for 52 years. There are no additives or preservatives that can change the taste & the quality of the masa either. So our secret is consistency.
4.) You grew up in Downey and still live here today. What do you like most about this city?
What I and my family enjoy the most about Downey is the feeling of being home. Downey is the city that people from surrounding communities aspire to move into, and once you’re here, you don’t look to move anywhere else. While Downey’s population is over 100,000, it still feels like a small town.
5.) We’re friends on Facebook so I know what a big sports fan you are. Tell me, are the Dodgers going all the way this year?
Definitely!! Dodgers have the right combination of timely hitting, great pitching and the confidence that they can win every game. Go Dodgers!!
Published: Sept. 5, 2013 – Volume 12 – Issue 21