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A Taste of Columbia Comes to University Village

Tim Belizaire

Mi Pueblito Paisa introduced authentic Colombian food to the Fort Myers area by opening a permanent location in University Village. The name of the restaurant is in tribute to the town in Medellin, Colombia where the owners moved from five years ago.

The restaurant had its opening on Sept. 30 in University Village after operating out of a food truck for two years. 

“We came from Colombia to Lehigh acres so we didn’t find Colombian food,” owner Valeria Ortiz said. “If you wanted Colombian food, you have to go to Miami or Tampa.” 

Ortiz loves her mom’s cooking and food, and so do their family and friends, so she encouraged her mom to help her to start this business. 

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The name of the restaurant is in tribute to a village in the city of Medellin, Colombia called Pueblito Paisa which is a replica of a small Antioquia town that frequently attracts tourists. It directly translates to Colombian little town. The owners moved five years ago with hopes of bringing the cuisine of their culture to North America.

When the business started, her dream was to own a restaurant. Money was an issue and a food truck proved to be more financially compatible to start at the time. Now it has been two years since the food truck opened and its success caused Ortiz and her team to open the restaurant and live her dream. 

“We are so happy, we’re excited and we’re nervous because this is a big step in our lives,” Ortiz said. 

Latin and Hispanic cultures have a deep emphasis on community and are family oriented. Ortiz hopes to inspire and influence her customers to feel welcome by treating them as if they were already family. 

“When you are not in your country, it’s really hard to find that place where you feel like you’re home,” Ortiz said. “We want to bring that to here.”

The official Grand Opening was Sept. 30, along with a family celebration on the Friday before. There was another celebration on Friday, Oct. 6 from 7-11 p.m. with live Latin music and dancing.

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About the Contributor
Tim Belizaire, Eagle News Assistant Photo Editor
Tim Belizaire is a junior majoring in journalism. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, and moved to Cape Coral when he was 12. His goal is to either venture into photojournalism or investigative journalism. Tim spends his free time taking pictures or listening to Lana Del Rey for hours.

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