From raspas to regional specialty dishes like fresas con crema, there is an abundance of sweets that can be found only in the Rio Grande Valley. One shop has captivated people from all over the United States, making everyone’s mouth water from their delicious-looking sweets.
If the vibrant colors or friendly staff waving at you doesn’t make you intrigued about Willie’s Sweets, then the delectable funnel cakes will surely lure you in. This unique and friendly spot full of tasty wonders has blown up on Facebook
and has found a home in Alamo.
A Sweet Beginning
Melissa Ann Gonzalez Salinas knew that she wanted to create something special for the community. Something that would positively impact the area she grew up in. With a famous restaurant of the Rio Grande Valley tied into her roots, Salinas wanted to create something sweeter.
“I always envisioned great things. At first, we had the concept of a raspa stand, but instead we transformed it into something bigger,” she said.
Willie’s Sweets was born into a family-friendly area with over 50 different flavors of funnel cakes, fried Twinkies, ice cream, burgers, hot dogs and many other hearty foods, each with a memorable and quirky name. But as quirky and friendly as the shop might be, developing a new business had Salinas cautious when choosing a location. Another concern was how the community would receive her concept.
“Every small business owner’s biggest fear is failing. We wanted to succeed. Opening your own business is labor intensive. It takes a lot. And for it to just fail, it’s scary, but I’ve had help from my family, which has helped a lot. And I’ve been received well by the community because of the location,” she continued.
Location is Everything
With a retail potential of over $500 million and a daily traffic count of over 119,000, Alamo Rd. is one the busiest streets in the city. From the expressway, past P.S.J.A. Memorial High School
, businesses have sustained and brought a variety of options of food and shopping to Valley residents. Strategically placed, Willie’s Sweets is on the corner of De Soto and Alamo Rd., which is just two streets down from the high school.
“The high school is right down the street. Kids walk down and stop by to grab a bite after school. The location of Willie’s Sweets has really helped,” Salinas said.
Not only does Willie’s Sweets benefit from the high school, but throughout Alamo, there are over eight Winter Texan retirement parks and communities
that visit her eatery.
“We have people from all over the Rio Grande Valley visiting, including Winter Texans who travel from as far as Canada. They are able to enjoy local sweets right here in Alamo,” Salinas said.
Succeed in Alamo
Alamo serves as a prime location for emerging business owners. With over 400 acres of prime location for businesses, franchises and distributors alike, many industries can benefit from doing business in Alamo. The city is part of the 5th
Largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in Texas, surpassing El Paso.
With a thriving ecotourism industry, international commerce and its e-commerce, Alamo has positioned itself as one of the most desirable places to live and work in Texas. Alongside the city and the Alamo Economic Development Corporation (EDC),
your business can also have initiatives that will give you the edge for success:
- The Revolving Loan Program – This is designed to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing a low-cost, alternative financing option.
- Alamo’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) – The TIRZ initiative helps improve business outlook, encourages the local commercial environment and aims to facilitate higher levels of prosperity for business of all scopes and sizes.
Establish Your Business in Alamo
Willie’s Sweets has found a successful location in Alamo, enticing visitors from all over. Your business can too. Come by for a treat that will satisfy your taste buds and cool you off from the Valley heat. If you’re an entrepreneur, then give the Alamo EDC a call at 956.787.6622.