My store • Luis Jimenez (31) - Local: Il Mercato
“Three years ago I came to Chile from Venezuela because I wanted to seek another direction and new opportunities. Since I didn't have the papers, it was very difficult for me to find a job as a mechanical engineer, which is my profession, so I started working as a technician. Over time, I was able to establish myself in a company that allowed me to explore things I knew and gave me the opportunity to apply my knowledge.
The idea of opening a store started to click for me during the pandemic. In that period, my salary was reduced for me and my colleagues and, to pay us, they took advantage of government subsidies. I knew that this was bad news, so I took up the idea of starting a business, which I had brought from Venezuela. Doing it there was practically impossible due to the whole issue of inflation.
On November 18, 2020 we inaugurated this business. Although I was not familiar with this field, I always had the intuition that it would turn out well because there was demand. Little by little, I have been getting to know my clients and I have also been learning about what they need. In the morning and afternoon, the office workers from Paseo Bulnes come to look for empanadas, croissants and coffee, while at night, the residents of nearby buildings come to buy bread, cecinas and things for eleven.
I feel that this business has helped me settle down in Chile, because it has allowed me to get ahead and has helped me get through the day without thinking so much about my family and friends who are in Venezuela. It is a kind of refuge that I have with my girlfriend, who has also put her time to make this happen. In the end, it is a demanding area, but one that I like because I have been able to have my things and put together new projects.”Luis (31) is the owner of Il Mercato (Cóndor 1269, Santiago) and is part of our network of Warehouses at BredenMaster, whom we accompany in the development of their business.