Mimi's Munchies Pivots and Takes to Salt Lake County Roads Delivering Mexican-American Snacks
Posted By Regional Development
August 06, 2020
Mimi’s Munchies opened in late 2018 inside a Mexican restaurant in West Valley. Started by Armando Lopez, and his wife, it serves Hispanic desserts mashed with popular American candy – a trending concept in areas like Los Angeles.
The menu of treats includes items like Fresas Con Crema, with a twist by including a scoop of homemade Mexican ice cream – a recipe handed down by generations and made by Lopez’s mother-in-law. Mimi’s Cups are filled with scoops from the eight different ice cream flavors, fresh fruit, candy gummies, and drizzled with favorite Mexican spices like Chamoy, Tajin, or lime. It also offers customers a Build-Your-Own-Nachos with favorite chips like Doritos, Hot Cheetos Puffs, Takis and more, topped with queso and jalapenos.
One month after opening, Mimi’s Munchies was profitable. In November 2019, it left the rented space in the restaurant in search of its very own retail location. In the process of trying to secure a brick-and-mortar location, COVID-19 happened. Lopez had to pivot his plan for the business.
“It ended up being a blessing in disguise since natural traffic isn’t there now,” Lopez said.
Instead, Mimi’s Munchies found a temporary home in June 2020 with a virtual kitchen, operating the business off social media traffic (largely from Instagram). Customers can order from the snack business online through its website or on third-party delivery service like DoorDash. Mimi’s Munchies does in-house delivery for just the areas of Rose Park and Glendale.
That same month, a loyal-customer-turned-friend told Lopez about Salt Lake County’s Small Business Impact Grant, and he applied on June 16. After submitting his application and working with a grant program ambassador, he was notified his application was approved two weeks later and had the money by July.Mimi’s Munchies wasn’t immune to the impacts of COVID-19, but Lopez was committed to not cutting any of his six employees and got by in the short-term with reducing staff hours.
“The grant gave us breathing room,” Lopez said. “It was a cool experience and allows us to keep the lights on and give some work to our employees. At the end of August, we want to launch a food truck. If it wasn’t for the grant, my head would be in the kitchen every day.”
The goal to get a food truck will leverage the business’ social media following and allow it to be more accessible to customers in West Valley City and Taylorsville. From there, Lopez dreams of getting a second truck to serve part of Salt Lake City.
Mimi’s Munchies is open for delivery-only, 5-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Visit https://www.instagram.com/mimismunchiesco/ for more info.
If you’re a small business like Mimi’s Munchies and have been impacted negatively by COVID-19, learn about the Small Business Impact Grant, and apply today at slco.org/covidgrants/.