The Associated Press has a piece about the small but growing Cuban grocery industry, which starts off this way:
"Until recently, the space was the one-car garage of a private home in Cuba’s capital, Havana. Today, it is a well-stocked, if small, grocery store whose big board at the gate entices shoppers with such offerings as cooking oil, tomato sauce, Hershey's cocoa powder, Nutella, shampoo, cookies and jam — a treasure trove in a country that is short of supplies.
"The nameless shop in the residential neighborhood of El Vedado is one of dozens of tiny grocery stores that have sprung up around Cuba in recent months. Locals refer to them as “mipymes” — pronounced MEE-PEE-MEHS. The name derives from the Spanish words for the small- and medium-sized enterprises that were first allowed to open in 2021.
"By allowing the new businesses, the Cuban government hoped to help an economy in crisis and strengthen local production … Yet despite their modest setup, their prices are far from affordable, even for a doctor or a teacher, who make about 7,000 Cuban pesos a month (about $28 in the parallel market)."
You can read the entire story here.
- KC's View:
I'm not sure when Cuba finally will open up to business development, but when it does, two things seem certain. One is that a good part of the island will turn into Las Vegas. (And somewhere, Hyman Roth will be smiling.) And the other is that food retailers will see it as the promised land.