FLINT, MI – Rob Cranmer was one of the first customers to purchase authentic Cuban food, a mouthwatering experience he had deprived of for years at a newly opened bakery and cafe in Flint.
“The little cafes there were just great. It was just amazing, ”Cranmer said of his experiences living in Florida indulging in local store offerings. “I would take the kids to school in the morning and when we came back we would just buy fresh bread and pastries and we really missed that. It’s so amazing to finally have something here.
Cranmer, a 25-year resident of Flint, surprised his wife with fried croquettes among other items from Mimi’s Cuban Bakery and Café when it opened on Tuesday, October 5.
The company, located at 1844 S. Dort Highway, reminded Cranmer of the experiences local Florida cafes gave him years ago.
Cranmer and his wife moved from Miami to the Flint area in 1996, a few years after suffering from Hurricane Andrew.
“We have really been waiting for this for a long time,” he said enthusiastically.
Liset Antunez, owner of Mimi’s, served community members with authentic food prepared with recipes she learned at just nine years old on Tuesday as a constant stream of customers frequented the business throughout the day.
Originally from Cuba, Antunez learned to cook from her mother Belikis and her grandmother Zoila Perez, whom she affectionately called “Mimi”.
“I know she’s happy,” Antunez said of her grandmother.
The business owner said her grandmother, who is her father’s mother, also loved to cook. She died last year on August 26, a day after Antunez’s birthday.
“We came here to invest. We never thought of restaurants or business, ”Antunez said of his family’s move to Flint three years ago.
Since news of the business opening spread throughout the community, positive messages and encouragement have poured in, Antunez said.
“All the customers call me and leave me great messages like; “You can do it and you’ll be fine. “I am receiving tremendous support from the community,” said the owner.
Antunez admitted that the restaurant doesn’t cook the healthiest food options, but they are delicious options because everything is prepared on site.
Dishes on the menu include potatoes stuffed with chorizo, fried ham croquettes, tamales with a house sauce, rice, beans and a fricase de pollo – chicken and potatoes simmered in a savory sauce to tomato base.
And, of course, the Cuban sandwich.
On Sundays, Antunez will serve “Crazy Platters,” a dish that includes fried pieces of pork, tamales, and tilapia bites served with a slice of toasted Cuban bread smeared with butter and garlic.
Drink options include Cuban espresso, juices, and smoothies, as well as Cuban Mamey milkshake – a treat made from tropical mamey fruit grown in Cuba and parts of Central and South America.
Guests will also have the chance to complement their meals with something sweet from an extensive dessert menu.
Dessert options include Cuban pies and other flavored pies such as flan as well as arroz con leche – a favorite of Latin American cuisine.
The opening hours of Mimi’s Cuban Bakery and Café are From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and from 6 a.m. to noon on Sunday.
The restaurant will also provide catering services.
“We appreciate the opportunity the community has given us to enter the community here,” Antunez said.
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