Maria Reyes, 67, and Eduardo Reyes, 66, shop for piñatas for their nine nieces and nephews at Hailey’s Dulceria, a candy shop located inside La Gran Plaza’s El Mercado.

El Mercado, the Mexican-market-themed space inside the mall, houses local businesses and provides a taste of home to residents.

“I grew up in Tijuana, and my brother and sister worked in a candy shop,” Maria Reyes said in Spanish. “This is the closest to that candy shop that there is here.” 

Maria came to the United States from Tijuana, Mexico when she was 18. She and Eduardo live in Weatherford but drive to El Mercado to buy piñatas at the candy shop. 

Hailey’s Dulceria, located on the first floor of El Mercado, imports piñatas from Durango, Mexico; Michoacan, Mexico; Monterrey, Mexico and cities lining the U.S. – Mexico border, Nelly Cruz, 24, said.

Cruz has worked at the dulceria for more than a month — she lived in Houston before moving to Fort Worth with her family.

Two floors above Hailey’s Dulceria lies Jose Luis Mascorro’s video game console repair shop.

Mascorro, 67, a retired musician, opened his store Mascorro Bros. nearly 10 years ago. Before his latest venture as a video game shop owner, he traveled through Mexico, the U. S. and Canada as a musician performing at jazz festivals and composing music.

“I retired in Hidalgo, Texas, in 2010,” Mascorro said in Spanish. “I got tired. It was very tiring.”

Jose Luis Mascorro, 67, owner of Mascorro Bros., tests a console he fixed. Mascorro retired from being a musician in 2010 and has owned his store since. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

Now, Mascorro is happy running his video game store where he repairs vintage consoles like Nintendo 64 consoles and XBOX 360 consoles.

Hailey’s Dulceria and Mascorro Bros are only two of the more than 200 businesses located at La Gran Plaza. The businesses range from herbal medicine merchants to hairstylists to Mexican snack merchants.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...

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