We had the good fortune of connecting with Gaby Centeno and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gaby, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Always had a corporate job but when my husband lost one, we claimed it was going to be the last time this will happen without us having something to do and another source of income so we decided to partner with my brother-in-law who already owned stores in Nogales, Mexico and had access to different suppliers across the country to open a location in Tubac, Arizona.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Our business is dedicated to display original art typically made by small businesses or individuals in Mexico. We buy throughout the country and even produce some custom pieces in our shop across the border. Our store is very vibrant and colorful, it’s like being at a plaza or town in Mexico.
What sets us apart is the unique inventory that we personally pick and since there is no middleman our prices are very competitive. We have worked with the same trucking family for Years and know the drill well enough to reduce cost to pass to our valued customers.
It has not been easy; we took a second mortgage against our house in 2003 to open the first location on 14 Tubac Rd. In May of 2008 we acquired a second property located on 16 Plaza Rd. and in October of that Year we all know the whole economy collapsed. Of course, we freaked out at the time but never stopped believing in our products, customers and employees.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
All shops and galleries have something unique, of course I will take them to Casa Maya de Mexico LOL. We have a variety of good restaurants in the area. Tubac Presidio State Park, Tubac Center of the Arts, Tubac Golf Resort & Spa plus the Tumacacori Mission are a must to visit.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Of course to our family since we are truly a family business. I run the day to day, my brother-in-law (Roberto) does import and warehousing and my husband (Adolfo) all the number crunching-financing.
We also are very blessed to have outstanding employees that have stayed for many Years even coming back to work for us after leaving. In 17 Years of business, we have had a handful of employees.
And last but not least, we are very thankful to our customers both local and visitors. It is very, rewarding when people say these are their favorite stores or they remember the almond infused tequila we served over luminaria weekend plus come looking or asking for Lola our lovely Chihuahua.
Instagram: Casa Maya de Mexico