Casa del Mole is the latest addition to the broadening business enterprises headed by the Diaz brothers--Octavio and Pedro. El Farolito , a long-time Mexican restaurant tradition for many people in town and run by Pedro Diaz, led to the opening of run by Diaz's brother, Octavio.
1. When did you open? June 1, but our official opening was Aug. 19.
2. What is your address? 434 Center St.; hours 7 a.m. - 9 p.m., seven days a week.
3. What was in the space before Casa del Mole? Most recent to more distant past: La Azteca, La Luna Market.
4. Why Healdsburg? We came to the area because Healdsburg is a mecca of food and wine. The Plaza is much like those in Mexico. Healdsburg is special for that—it’s a unique town.
It’s the spirit—where love of community is strong. Then, this opportunity came our way. We found that we can supply our own restaurants with the freshest produce and meats by owning our own store, as well.
5. What is unique about your business? We want to bring the store to the next level of service with trusted products, local (Bernier and Early Bird's) whenever possible and, in season, meats cut daily.
Most things are from within 200 miles of Healdsburg. We make our own mole, our own chorizo.
The mole is 'de mi mama.' The recipe has been handed down for four generations. We offer tlayuda--the hard tortillas typical of Oaxaca, molotes--chorizo and potatoes. Basically we are bringing Oaxacan street food with quality.
6. How did you move from the restaurant business to a grocery store? Our vision is quality. We decided to step up to the next level of service. We want to help create healthy eating habits--more vegetables, so we grew the produce department.
Also, our mother and father owned a market in Oaxaca, so this is for them -- Doña Juana and Don Pedro Diaz. It’s a win-win-win for the market, restaurant and for the community. Don Pedro takes produces and meats to the restaurants daily. Doña Juana cooks her traditional recipes.
7. What do you love about running Casa del Mole? The workers have been here between nine and 13 years. I took to see people who come to the store daily and I love to serve those people--to talk with them, to create a warm atmosphere.
8. What is difficult? Not having everything done at once. We love the challenges and they make us perform better and we work under pressure very well. But it's hard not to go on vacation—what is difficult is not being able to clone myself.
9. What do you want people to know about you? I don't like to say no and neither does my brother. We say, instead, how can we make this happen. We work very hard and we invest and support the community. We treat everyone like family.
We treat others with respect—not like a number. I say put your energy in taking care of those near you and everything else will take care of itself. For the next generation, I want them to be educated, to have the tools to go further. We have specialties on weekends and by request: birria del chivo, handmade tortillas, torta Cubana made with bread from Costeaux Bakery.
10. Do you own or are you involved in any other businesses? El Farolito in Windsor. In this economy, our family is our bank and we are able to stay out of debt and not pay interest by working as a family.
Octavio Diaz also broke the news that Agave mole is soon to be sold in jars, so you can have homemade mole without all the work. See photo of the new packaged mole.