City Fresh Market: Mi Bandera
Backstory and Context
The arrival of the first Cubans to the United States was took place during the middle to late 1940s. Yolanda Prieto, author of The Cubans of Union City, had her very own experience of the Cuban migration when she arrived in 1968. There were many different progression of the Cuban population being driven into the US especially where the people knew where business would boom. Being able to get into the city in about 10 mins, not just Cubans, but, many immigrants found their way to Hudson County. Till this day Hudson County remains a melting pot of many countries and cultures.
Although there isn't a direct connection with the founder of Mi Bandera restaurant/supermarket it makes a lot of sense as to the supermarket's location. When visiting Union City you can get a good sense of the people who live within these areas. There are many bodegas and minimarts all over Hudson County, but coming to Mi Bandera is a whole other cultural experience. Aisles of traditional foods and products come from various regions of the Americas.
There are so many places to bring you back to your homeland but none like this one. Every weekend as a kid I would have had to go to Mi Bandera to get the specific cookies that I wanted because they had come from Argentina, my family's background. It drew in a lot of attention from many cultures around the area. Having such an establishment in the heart of a city causes the mixing of cultures and the sharing of ideas.
Prieto, Yolanda. The Cubans of Union City: Immigrants and Exiles in a New Jersey Community.
Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2009.
By JERRY GRAYSpecial to The New York Times. “Hudson County a Harbinger of a New
Hispanic Influence: Union City: Harbinger of Hispanic Era ‘this is Like being in Havana
in the Afternoon,’ an Immigrant Says.” The New York Times (1923-Current File), Feb 23,
Eckstein, Susan. Social Forces 89, no. 3 (2011): 1073-074.