LA FERIA, Texas (ValleyCentral) — This week ValleyCentral takes you into the den of the lions.
Incorporated in 1933, the city was originally founded in 1909 by land developer G. J. Schoenberg. Beginning with a post office and the Bixby railroad stop located a mile away, connecting St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway through the area. Growing from its small size the city is now home to over 7,000 residents and multiple businesses. A major change for a city that at one point contained only 200 people and just 90 businesses. Off U.S. Highway 83 and Farm Road 506 it’s not the main destination for travelers. Even though it is labeled as a small city, La Feria has many things to offer.
Located inside the city and a place that outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy is the city park and sports complex. An area to hang out with family or friends. Kids are also able to use the playground located at the park that features all the basics and more. The largest park in the city it also has the benefit of being away from the city traffic making it a safer place. A few blocks away from the sports center is the city’s nature center. The only center located in the city allows residents to explore the outdoors up close. Composed of 88 acres it has all kinds of fun activities and events to enjoy. Separated away from the traffic and the public explorers and enthusiasts get a chance to see wildlife undisturbed. Towards the middle of the city lays a moment honoring the troops. Paying respect to all branches and those that never got back home. A symbol of honor to recognize those that made the ultimate sacrifice.
Raspa memories–Santos Snow Cones
A staple for the community of La Feria, Santo’s Snow Cones has been in business for more than 30 years. Older than current owner Humberto Moreno, the stand has been owned by the family for generations starting with his grandmother. According to Moreno, the stand started before many fast-food franchises and businesses would locate to La Feria making Santo’s Snow Cones a part of the city’s history. Located on business 83 in La Feria, the small stand has not moved locations or changed its appearance in its 30 plus years. “They’ll come and they’re like “I remember your grandma she was a nice old lady”, or the opposite “Man your grandma was mean but the raspas were good”, said Moreno. “If you didn’t order correctly in Spanish you weren’t getting a raspa, luckily we don’t have that barrier, you can order in both languages.” According to Moreno, only small renovations have occurred but it has kept the same look and style started by his grandmother. Serving different styles of raspas and snacks is what makes the stand so unique to the community. According to Moreno customers have come from all across the valley and even from up north to try the raspas. The main goal for Moreno is to give his customers the highest quality of food possible and give them a space that makes them feel welcome. “I couldn’t have this business without the La Feria community to back me up and if anything I thank them,” said Moreno.
Rich legacy–La Feria Cafe
Opening its doors in 2018 at its current location, the taste of La Feria Cafe formerly known as the La Feria Coffee Shop has been serving the community for years. Starting January 2012 in Santa Rosa by owner Cynthia Salinas Saldívar, the restaurant has its roots dating back to the days of the Palmetto Inn. Using those same recipes today, La Feria Cafe is now a popular spot for those that remember the days of the Palmetto Inn. Working at the coffee shop, Saldívar’s mom took over the business once the owner retired. Saldívar never expected to see the business grow as it did. “I said ‘It’s something for you and dad, something for you all to do you know? something to do because I know dad probably gets bored’. My dad had already retired and I said how many people even come to Santa Rosa,” said Saldívar. Outgrowing the small area and experiencing long lines caused Saldívar to relocate back to La Feria into a larger building. Serving Mexican-style food, the cafe offers all kinds of dishes. A popular dish is the “ladies special” which comes with enchiladas and two tacos prepared with the restaurant’s own recipe and salsa. Family-owned, many of Saldívar’s family help out with her son running cashier, calls, and even her mother who continues to waitress and serve. “I’ll be here as long as my customers keep coming and I’m happy to serve them, I’m happy to be in La Feria,” said Saldívar.