Faces of the RGV: ‘The place to be’

Local News

Mission, TX (ValleyCentral) — This week ValleyCentral takes you to the home of the Eagles, Pioneer Diamondbacks, and Patriots. Beginning as a Spanish colony to being a railroad stop in the early 1900s, the city has grown from its humble origins to contain nearly 85,000 residents. Focused on business, creating infrastructure, and sharing a port of entry with Mexico at the Anzalduas Bridge, Mission is focused on growth. Founded in 1908 the city is known for its celebrities, historical figures, and citrus industry. One of its most famous residents is Tom Landry, a former football player, and NFL coach. He was also the first coach for the Dallas Cowboys taking the team to multiple Super Bowl appearances and one win throughout 29 years. The city continues to honor Landry and his success with a mural and a street named after him. Many Mission statues, signs, and streets are placed or named to honor some notable people that have called the city home. Being an old city, Mission has many landmarks and historical buildings that honor its past while also looking to the future.

Mission

Outdoor activities surround the city of Mission making it a fun time for those that enjoy the outdoors. One of the more popular destinations is the downtown. From driving or walking, downtown is full of opportunities to explore the city. Local businesses line up the street, including crafts, food, and parks for families to enjoy. Downtown is also a symbol of what the city once was and what it could be again. Towards the edge of the border lays many of the outdoor activities Mission is famous for. Butterfly enthusiasts will visit the National Butterfly Center to see unique species that are native to the RGV. Composed of a 100-acre land the center offers visitors a chance to see not only butterflies but birds and plant life. The center provides tools and information about the conservation and study of wild butterflies in their native habitat. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley state park offers trails and exploration. The park was donated to the Texas State Board for $1 in 1944 to be used for public access. The park was opened to the public in 1962. Located just a few miles away from Mission, the park takes visitors away from the city and places them in nature. Minutes away from the state park lays the namesake of the city of mission, La Lomita Chapel. Built in 1865 the chapel served as a resting point for missionaries that traveled the Rio Grande Valley to perform baptisms and marriages.

The chapel offers morning services on Fridays, but it is open to the public any day of the week.

Vintage to modern- Minnie’s Hidden Treasures

For 24 years the local thrift store Minnie’s Hidden Treasures has been selling residents vintage and modern items. The family-owned business grew under Minnie Saenz who was got the store as a gift from her sister. Minnie and her mom first started selling at market fairs before eventually moving into the bigger store. The store is named after Minnie’s mother who was the source of inspiration for the family’s venture into thrifting. The family has operated the store at its current location for more than 15 years becoming a well-known attraction for the community. Housing more than 38 vendors the store offers support for those starting their own small business, according to Saenz. Taking over for her mother, Erica Saenz now owns and operates the store while her mother greets guests and makes baskets on the side. The Saenz family says that they participate in as many donation events to be involved with the community. While Erica owns the store along with her other business T&E Treasures, Minnie continues to lend a hand and serve as the face of the business. According to the family, coming into the store is about making people happy and bringing back old memories. “I want them to come in here and have fun, I love hearing like ‘Oh my god!’ I love hearing that,” said Erica.

Jitterz Coffee Bar

Jitterz Coffe Bar opened its doors in 2003 and has been serving fresh coffees ever since. Gabriel De La Garza started with only one shop and has since grown to two locations in the city. De La Garza’s dad owns the Conway location and encouraged his son to start the business. De La Garza wasn’t a fan of coffee, or even owning a business, but he grew more open to the idea after visiting the building. Coming up with ideas for the name and because of the effect of coffee, Jitterz is meant to be a name to remember. According to De La Garza, it was a learning process the entire time and it took trial and error to make the business what it is today. Fans of coffee will surely enjoy the different smells and atmosphere Jitterz has to offer. Recognized in the community and a popular destination it has been a humbling experience for De La Garza who never imagined seeing this much support. “It’s a beautiful thing for me honestly it’s really humbling for me that people look for our products and they appreciate our products, I love that because it just forms relationships with people,” said De La Garza. The second location closed for a month due to the COVID pandemic and when they reopened so many people came back for them. As they continue to grow so do the renovations, adding a new room that will only focus on the coffee roasting process expanding it from the current operation.

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