787 Market brings Puerto Rican spirit to Cleveland

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:31 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off, 19 News visited Harry Quiñones at 787 Market, which looks to make Puerto Ricans feel at home.

“We always wanted to do something for our community,” Quiñones, the business owner, said, “something very ethnic, something that’s by us, for us.”

The Cleveland-born man founded the store last November and has since become a harbor for all kinds of products that can only be found on the Caribbean island.

“All of our tropical produce, all of our tropical roots,” he said, as he walked through the isles of his store: “This is a Nabisco product, but it’s only available in the Caribbean...This is Malta India; this is the number 1 beverage in Puerto Rico.”

The business’ signature item, however, is its Puerto Rican-style bread. “It tends to have a sweetness to it; it’s not like your typical Italian roll,” Quiñones explained.

Altogether, the market is a blessing for customers like Aurelio Crespo, who moved to Cleveland from the island 10 years ago.

“For us, this is a real reason for joy and happiness,” he said in Spanish.

Quiñones already has plans to expand his store into a space next door and loves hearing his customers react to his products and treats.

“My favorite reaction is where you hear all of the gasps, like wow! You hear it all the time in the store,” he said.

For Crespo, he’s simply glad he can live out his love and connection to home, even at a store: “Puerto Rico is still here in my heart.”

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