Santa Cruz resident Alex Mendoza has been a loyal customer of Shopper’s Corner for 17 years. The biology teacher at Silver Creek High School in San Jose was first introduced to the store by a friend’s father and hasn’t looked back since.
Mendoza praises Shopper’s for its wide variety of products, from affordable anchovies to top-grade, name-brand mustards. The store also offers a selection of craft and local beers, as well as hard-to-find items like country-style ribs.
In addition to its diverse product offerings, Mendoza loves the sense of community he finds at Shopper’s. He frequents the store four times a week and enjoys seeing familiar faces among the cashiers, butchers, and stockers.
I grew up with my family raising cattle. So you can take my word when I say Shopper’s has the best meats around.
— Alex Mendoza
Mendoza, who grew up in Santa Maria and is a fan of the area’s produce, appreciates Shopper’s selection of both organic and conventional vegetables. He also regularly purchases cheese, thick center-cut pork chops, porterhouse and rib eye steaks, sausages, bacon, prawns, little neck clams, swordfish, pancetta, and deli meats from the store’s butcher shop.
As someone who values local businesses, Mendoza admires Shopper’s longevity and commitment to quality. The store has weathered everything from economic downturns to a global pandemic, yet remains a staple in the community.
Mendoza sees himself as part of the Shopper’s team and even enjoys retrieving and returning shopping carts from the parking lot. For him, Shopper’s is more than just a grocery store; it’s a place where he feels at home.
With customers like Mendoza, it’s clear that Shopper’s Corner has something special to offer.
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Get to know Alex Mendoza
Alex Mendoza, 17-Year Customer, Santa Cruz
Occupation: Biology Teacher, Silver Creek High School, San Jose
Hobbies: Bicycling, motorcycling, skateboarding, RC planes and cars, hiking, walking, cooking
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Recipe of the Week
Slow Cooker Carnitas
- 2 kg / 4 lb pork shoulder (pork butt) , skinless, boneless (5lb/2.5kg bone in) (Note 1)
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 onion , chopped
- 1 jalapeno , deseeded, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup juice from orange (2 oranges)
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Rinse and dry the pork shoulder, rub all over with salt and pepper.
- Combine the Rub ingredients then rub all over the pork.
- Place the pork in a slow cooker (fat cap up), top with the onion, jalapeño, minced garlic (don’t worry about spreading it) and squeeze over the juice of the oranges.
- Slow Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 7 hours. (Note 2 for other cook methods)
- Pork should be tender enough to shred. Remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly. Then shred using two forks.
- Optional: Skim off the fat from the juices remaining in the slow cooker and discard.
- If you have a lot more than 2 cups of juice, then reduce it down to about 2 cups. The liquid will be salty, it is the seasoning for the pork. Set liquid aside – don’t bother straining onion etc, it’s super soft.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large non stick pan or well seasoned skillet over high heat. Spread pork in the pan, drizzle over some juices. Wait until the juices evaporate and the bottom side is golden brown and crusty. Turn and just briefly sear the other side – you don’t want to make it brown all over because then it’s too crispy, need tender juicy bits.
- Remove pork from skillet. Repeat in batches (takes me 4 batches) – don’t crowd the pan.
- Just before serving, drizzle over more juices and serve hot, stuffed in tacos (see notes for sides, other serving suggestion and storage/make ahead).
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