La Huerta Market in St. Charles to kick off Cinco De Mayo celebration on Sunday

Owners of La Huerta Catering Grill and Market and Campbell Creations in St. Charles will host a free Cinco De Mayo kick-off event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 28, 2024, outside of the market at 580 S Randall Road.

St. Charles business owners are collaborating on a community tasting event outside La Huerta Catering Grill and Market on April 28 in preparation for Cinco De Mayo.

Residents are invited to sample offerings from the market and its vendors and stock up on supplies for their own holiday celebrations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside La Huerta, 580 S. Randall Road.

The free tasting event will feature free samples of homemade foods, drinks and more. Guests will be able to sample La Huerta’s catering items including steak, adobo pork and homemade chorizo tacos, rice, elotes, tamales and more.

“I just like working together with honest good-hearted people who put their whole heart into what they do and how they run their business.”

—  Josie Marquez, owner of La Huerta Catering Grill and Market

The event also will showcase charcuterie boards from local shop Campbell Creations and several food vendors from Mexico including Jarritos, tequila distilleries and other imported snacks.

The event was organized by local business owners Josie Marquez of La Huerta and Shawn Campbell of Campbell Creations, who have become close friends. Marquez said she and Campbell are bonded by their appreciation for family-owned businesses and their desire to help and support each other.

Campbell Creations is a local handcrafted charcuterie board shop. Campbell’s husband creates the boards and she runs the shop at 803 S. Fifth Ave.

Campbell said the event will be a precursor to community Cinco De Mayo celebrations, as well as a showcase event for the collaborating women-owned businesses.

“In these times when it’s getting tough for small businesses, working together and supporting each other is key,” Campbell said.

Marquez said she and Campbell have been trying to find a way to work together for some time and decided a free community event would be a good way for people to get to know both of their businesses and try some new things.

Campbell will be at the event selling her boards, as well as showcasing Cinco de Mayo inspired spreads of meats and cheeses that can be found in the market to inspire those hosting their own holiday parties.

Campbell Creations charcuterie boards will be showcased at the Cinco De Mayo kick-off event, featuring items from La Huerta Catering Grill and Market.

“I just like working together with honest, good-hearted people who put their whole heart into what they do and how they run their business,” Marquez said. “Family-owned businesses are very close to my heart. Nobody really understands you like someone who runs a family-owned business.”

La Huerta is a family-owned and operated business. It’s one of nine markets in Illinois owned by the Marquez family. Her parents opened the first La Huerta in Addison in 1981. The St. Charles location has been open for 18 years.

Marquez said the children – siblings and cousins – would help out and train at the different locations and eventually the stores were passed down to the next generation. Marquez’s parents are retired but still love to come in and help out at the stores, working the registers and talking with customers.

La Huerta specializes in niche Mexican groceries with a wide variety of homemade foods, fresh meats and imported goods such as Mexican snacks, tequilas and hot sauces.

“If you can’t find a hot sauce in St. Charles, it’s because we don’t have it,” Marquez said.

La Huerta makes all of its catering items in-house, including guacamoles and salsas, baked goods such as Mexican sweet breads and pastries and food such as tamales and tacos that are made fresh with meat and produce that come straight from their market.

Marquez said this will be the first community event they have hosted and they decided to do it a week before Cinco De Mayo because the holiday is always their busiest day of the year with dozens of catering orders.