Hola Island Co. is Coming to CentroVilla25 Market
CLEVELAND, OH – Tuesday, January 23 – By Mandy Kraynak
Hola Island Co. is turning its former sandwich shop on E. 55th St. into a full-time production facility for its line of Caribbean marinades. (Photo courtesy of Hola Island Co.)
Restaurateur Luis Roman comes up with ideas for his food business, Hola Island Co., and his son, who has the same name, helps him bring these visions to fruition.
“He’s a big ideas man, so it’s good to be able to get his ideas on paper and track everything out,” said the younger Roman, who serves as Hola Island’s chief operating officer. “We’re a really good team together.”
Caribbean food business Hola Island Co. is turning its former sandwich shop at the Vocational Guidance Services building on E. 55th St. into a full-time production facility for the company’s Caribbean marinades. The business is also joining two upcoming markets on the west side of Cleveland, opening a specialty food store and empanadilla (empanada) factory at the CentroVilla25 market in Clark-Fulton and a food spot at a small business marketplace in Gordon Square.
Specialty food store, empanadilla factory coming to CentroVilla25 market
As Hola Island grows its marinade sales and makes plans for a new location, it’s also taking on new ventures.
The business is bringing a specialty grocery store and an empanadilla factory to CentroVilla25, a development project underway in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood.
The Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development (NEOHCED) spent years planning and raising funds for the project, which will turn a vacant warehouse at 3140 W. 25th St. into a Latino market with 20 kiosk spaces, a commercial kitchen, and an outdoor plaza.
CentroVilla held a groundbreaking ceremony in July 2023, and NEOHCED hopes to hold a soft opening this fall, said Jenice Contreras, president and CEO of NEOHCED.
Contreras initially thought the elder Roman would bring a sit-down restaurant to CentroVilla, but he suggested a specialty food store, or mercado, to serve as an anchor store for CentroVilla instead.
Neighbors will be able to rely on the market for staples like milk, and for culturally significant foods that many other stores don’t sell, Contreras said.
With about 2,000 square feet of space, Hola Island’s store won’t be a “full-fledged grocery store,” Contreras said, but it can help meet a neighborhood need by improving access to healthy food.
“We hope to bring that idea of that Latin grocery store with specialty items, having kind of grocery staples even, just to create that sense of, ‘Hey, we need to go to the market, It’s a local place; we can walk to the market,’” the COO said.
Contreras has known the elder Roman since they were teenagers attending Lincoln West High School in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood.
“We were two kids that grew up in this neighborhood, that have grown up and have a heart for the neighborhood,” Contreras said.
She has supported his business journey through his years running The Campus Grille inBerea and Hola Island.
Hola Island will use part of its space at CentroVilla25 as the production site for its new line of empanadillas. The “empanada factory,” as Contreras calls it, will make ready-to-eat empanadillas and discs of empanadilla dough to customize and prepare at home.
“The beauty of empanadillas is you can stuff them with anything,” the COO said. “You can make dessert empanadillas; you can make savory empanadillas, vegetarian, vegan.”
The mercado will have 5–6 employees, and the empanada production facility will have 8–10 employees, the COO said in an email.
“I close my eyes, and I think about standing in Luis’ space,” Contreras said, picturing the Hola Island owner teaching and cooking at the empanada factory. “I cannot wait to see him in his space doing what he does and at the same time supporting his family and generating wealth.”
Follow Hola Island on Instagram and Facebook for more information on products and farmers market visits, or email [email protected]. Apply for Hola Island job opportunities here. CentroVilla25 will be located in Clark-Fulton at 3140 W. 25th St., and the El Corazon marketplace will be located at 5218 Detroit Ave. in Gordon Square.
CentroVilla25 is a project spearheaded by the Hispanic Business Center, aimed at catalyzing economic impact, fostering business development, and celebrating Latino culture. This vibrant and inclusive Latino cultural district in the heart of the Clark-Fulton neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, will serve as both an anchor and a magnet, with an aim to preserve the character of the community and ensure Latino and other small business owners have opportunities for creating wealth.
For more information about CentroVilla25, visitwww.hbcenter.org/cv25.
Categories: CV25 News