Cravings Blog

Acapulco Tropical opens second location on 14th Street

Acapulco Tropical bakery manager explains how to make authentic Cuban bread

Efren Pacheco Gomez, who learned how to make Cuban bread in Ybor City, now makes it at Acapulco Tropical in his role as bakery manager.
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Efren Pacheco Gomez, who learned how to make Cuban bread in Ybor City, now makes it at Acapulco Tropical in his role as bakery manager.

An effort 12 years in the making came to fruition last week.

The second Acapulco Tropical supermarket opened at 5612 14th St. W. in a larger location than the original store, located about three miles away. Joey and Ana Leyva co-own the stores, which they took over from their parents.

The smell of fresh pastries, baking bread and authentic tacos wafted through the air at the second Acapulco Tropical on Tuesday, which was already buzzing with customers in its first week.

“We just want to introduce this type of store to the community, because there’s nothing here,” Joey, 34, said at the new 15,000-square-foot store on Tuesday.

There’s a nearby Sav-A-Lot store, a Publix supermarket and a Winn-Dixie, but Acapulco Tropical fills a niche market for shoppers.

We have been doing day and night right now but it’s a lot of fun because you have all your customers that are happy because they say, ‘We really need it over there. We don’t like going to the other one because of all the traffic and the parking lot is so inconvenient.’ So we’re really excited we are bringing this to community because it was needed for them

Joey Leyva, co-owner, Acapulco Tropical

It’s why shopper Janette Perez likes stopping in. She sat near the store’s lunch counter with her mom while waiting on an order of tacos. Perez has visited the first Acapulco Tropical at 3525 First St. E., but she said the new store is closer to home for her.

“I like both of them but this one is bigger and wider,” Perez, who is Mexican, said. “I really like it. They have more Mexican food. They carry all the chips and desserts you can’t find at Publix.”

May 5 is the grand opening at Acapulco Tropical, 5612 14th St. W., with music by a mariachi band, traditional Central American dancing, free food, prizes, sales throughout the store and activities for kids, including face painting

The new Acapulco Tropical is roughly a fifth larger than the original store. The additional space gives the Leyvas the ability to serve a larger market and carry more merchandise.

“We’re targeting more of the American clientele,” Joey said. “A lot of the American products don’t fit over there because it’s more based in Caribbean and Central American products and we are going to have everything here. We’re going to try to make it a one-stop shop.”’

On May 5, the store will host a grand opening. By then, the store will be fully stocked, as Joey said they’re still waiting to stock about 50 more pounds of merchandise. The grand opening will have music by a mariachi band, traditional Central American dancing, free food, prizes, sales throughout the store and activities for kids, including face painting.

For more information, call the store at 941-900-2134.

Janelle O’Dea: 941-745-7095, @jayohday

Acapulco Tropical

  • Address: 5612 14th St. W.
  • Phone: 941-900-2134
  • Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m., seven days a week
  • Bakery, deli and meat market available
  • Signs in both English and Spanish throughout the store
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