Breaking News
More () »

Domingo's Mi Gente features Frank's Produce

Longtime business Frank's Produce is a must-stop shop for anyone who wants an authentic Corpus Christi experience.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — What do long hours, piñatas, and work ethic have in common? For one Corpus Christi west side business, it means culture, tradition, and life.

"There's still a few places here that are still holding the west side down, you know," said Garza. 

Garza shared with 3NEWS the shop's history, and how his father acquired it.

"It started out in the early 60's with the owner Frank Sobey," Garza explained. "He had all produce here: watermelons, fruits, and vegetables. Then, my dad bought it from him in '76. We've been here ever since."

In that bicentennial year, Frank Garza already had a future plan for his children. As his son, Roland Garza tells it, his father had an incredible work ethic where he led by example.

"The one thing my dad taught all my brothers and sisters is to work every day, and there's no days off," Garza said. "He had it in him that he was going to have a store, that he was going to do something. He wanted his kids to have something."

After a freeze in the early 80s made it difficult to get fruit from Rio Grande growers, Frank Garza made the decision to transition from an all-produce stand to something broader and more heritage focused.

To this day, you can find all kinds of Mexican products, curios, and piñatas of every size, shape, and color you can imagine. The open air stand is a cultural warehouse of everything one has come to expect from south of the border, via Corpus Christi's west side.

"They say it's like a little Mexico. They don't have to go to the border, they have it all right here and the prices are very competitive as well," Garza added.

He said every day customers come in just to marvel at the colorful collection of products. Many leave with bags full of items, some leave with just a smile, but all who have stepped in leave a little happier than when they arrived.

"That's where all the rewards come from," Garza continued. "It's the customers. They come in, and they're happy we're still here. They were here since they were kids and they came in with their grandparents. I've seen two or three generations come through the neighborhood here."

It has also become a popular spot for students nearby. The space has something for all ages to enjoy. 

"It's really good to see the customers come in, and we get new ones from the college and university down the street. We'll get a lot of students who come in just to see the place, take pictures, and send pictures back home." Garza said.

It wasn't too long ago that the store was open seven days a week. Today, they are closed on Sundays, a decision made by the matriarch of the family, Josie Garza. At 80 years old, she is still very much in charge.

"She takes care of everything. She still runs the books here and she still gets after me too, you know, all the time," Garza laughed.

Garza said this Father's Day weekend, he and his siblings are looking back and reflecting on their late father who passed away 11 years ago. They remember his work ethic and guidance, but most importantly, his love.

More from 3News on KIIITV.com:

Want to send us a news tip?

Put your name and contact information below so we can get in touch with you about your story should we have questions or need more information. We realize some stories are sensitive in nature. Let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.

If you do not have a photo/video to submit, just click "OK" to skip that prompt.

Before You Leave, Check This Out