PLAYA VISTA, Calif. — The Arepa Stand is a pop-up foodstuff stall that sells classic Venezuelan cuisine with a twist at farmer’s markets all over L.A., like the a person that requires place in Playa Vista on Saturdays.
Mercedes Rojas, chef and proprietor of The Arepa Stand, stated business enterprise is great these times and luckily has support from spouse and children members and close friends.
Rojas’ brother Zeus is also a co-founder and lends a encouraging hand, together with their mother. They really moved her from Miami to assist with the escalating small business. She is integral in Rojas’ appreciate for arepas and would make them each morning in Venezuela when Rojas was a little one.
“It is what they deliver you off to university with for your lunch,” said Rojas. “It is kind of our bread, and each individual domestic has it.”
The arepa is a corn pocket produced from masa that is stuffed with numerous substances. Rojas pointed out that some conventional alternatives are brisket, cheese, and hen salad.
“It is casual, but you are able to set so a lot of twists into it but continue to retain it healthful,” claimed Rojas, who tends to make them her individual by adding twists from her higher-conclusion chef schooling.
She moved to Los Angeles in 2015 to discover less than chef Suzanne Goin. Then Rojas opened The Arepa Stand in 2019 when she was out of perform right after regularly generating arepas as a personnel meal. She knew this would be her path.
“It’s very near to my heart, so it was a no-brainer for me to start off something like this,” said Rojas.
On her initial day advertising at a farmer’s current market, Rojas stated she hoped to serve even just 20 arepas, not expecting what would appear upcoming.
“We ended up marketing 160 of them, and my buddies who arrived to buy arepas ended up in the booth doing the job due to the fact it was so nuts. I think it was just intended to be. Absolutely everyone gathered with each other to assist us carry out this desire,” stated Rojas.
That aspiration is blending her childhood upbringing with her new existence in L.A. Rojas and her brother combine regular Venezuelan staples with California substances. Even the names are an ode to Los Angeles. Zeus designed titles like “The Westsider,” which is the hen salad and avocado arepa, and “The 405,” which has beans and brisket.
“It is a mess to take in. It is scrumptious, but if you get on the 405 any time of day, it’s a disaster. Which is why it is named like that,” explained Rojas.
Even with the community flair, Rojas desires these from Venezuela to come to feel like their grandmother produced these arepas. The Arepa Stand is only open up on weekends at farmers’ markets, breweries, and cafes around the city.
“It’s one thing that folks are enthusiastic to appear for on the weekend. It is arepa Saturday or it is arepa Sunday,” mentioned Rojas.
If you want to enjoye arepa Saturday or Sunday with The Arepa Stand, check locations and times posted on @TheArepaStand on Instagram.