When enjoying a hearty meal at a restaurant or at home one seldom thinks of the ingredients used in its preparation. For these mouthwatering dishes to be made, the components play a key role. Whether we are speaking of the spices, veggies, meats or sauces, the quality of products used in the preparation of a meal will determine its end result. Making sure that our produce is fresh, we present a woman who has introduced a variety of products to our island – Mrs. Evelia Najarro Flores.
Evelia was born in La Libertad, El Salvador on October 10th, 1975 to Maria Paula and Narciso Najarro. She comes from a large family of twelve children: seven brothers and four sisters. When the Civil War began, Evelia’s father decided to leave El Salvador to ensure his family’s well being. The entire family began their journey en route to Mexico but Mr. Najarro fell ill along the way and a decision was made to stay in Belize. Evelia was only five-years-old at this time. The Najarro family settled in San Ignacio, Cayo District for a short period and then moved to Valley of Peace (a refugee settlement) in Belmopan. There, Evelia attended elementary school and then Belmopan Comprehensive High School when she was only eleven-years-old graduating in 1991. Immediately after completing her secondary education, she was offered a part-time teaching job at Valley of Peace Roman Catholic School, which she accepted.
A very thoughtful person, Evelia felt it was her duty to look for a job that would aid her family financially. Having an older brother in San Pedro, she sought his help to obtain work on the island. Luck was on her side and Evelia was hired as a front desk agent and reservation clerk at Captain Morgan’s Retreat. During the two and a half years she was employed there, she also exercised her skills as an activities director and bookkeeper. Evelia then moved into town to manage the Belize Chamber of Commerce’s arts and crafts shop for a period of eight months. Next, Evelia went to work as a sales clerk for Out Island Divers until this enterprise went out of business. After that, she held various positions in the tourism and hospitality business, sometimes working two jobs at once, the latest being on-site manager at Seven Seas Resort.
In San Pedro, Evelia met Carlos Rene Flores and fell in love, getting married to him on September of 1998. During the eight years Evelia worked in San Pedro, she decided it was time to open her own business. At that time there was no place in San Pedro where an individual could pick out their own vegetables or fruits. Evelia’s idea was to open a place where one could touch and choose their produce selection in comfort. In March of 1999 she opened The Greenhouse, an air-conditioned fruit and vegetable store that not only keeps the products fresh but also dust free. The response from the public and other businesses surpassed her expectations. It was her same customers that suggested she add imported produce to her already extensive selection. Today, a wide assortment of imported and local produce is received every Wednesday and Saturday. Some of the unique selections available include Romaine lettuce, mushrooms, asparagus, brussel sprouts, strawberries, red and yellow bell peppers, Idaho potatoes and tofu. Getting the Green House to where it’s at has been no easy task for Evelia. Long hours and determination have allowed her produce shop to succeed. Today, she has extended her items to include a wide variety of local and imported seafood, as well as the popular cold cuts products are also available, including an exciting selection of groceries. Evelia personally attends to the daily operations of the business, assisted by her younger brother, Adan.
Although Evelia spends most of her time trying to take care of all her customer’s needs, her relaxation comes through painting, reading and swimming. Evelia is also a certified open water diver, but says she seldom gets time to enjoy this sport. Through her business, she has financially assisted many town functions and fundraising events. “I wish to thank my loyal customers and friends who have supported me in this business endeavor. Because of that, I strive to make sure my business continues to meet their demands,” commented Mrs. Flores.
Evelia has made her dreams of owning her own business a reality. She continues to strive for the best in everything she attempts. Through her personality and business, Evelia Flores adds to the “freshness and quality” that are the basis of “Our Community.”