Purchase photos

Hispanic grocery store fills need





Beatriz Santana was tired of working for somebody else.

So two months ago, she opened the Betty Store, a Hispanic grocery store located at 2522 Vine.

Santana worked at Sonic Drive-In, 1708 Vine, before opting to own her own business.

"I think it's better than working for somebody else," she said.

Santana moved to Hays with her family from Pratt, where she lived for 13 years and also worked at a Sonic. Her father also owns a grocery store that caters to Hispanic people, giving her the idea to start one here.

"My dad has a store in Great Bend, so we think about the idea," she said.

The store has a variety of items, everything from Mexican ice cream to cookies to chips to peppers. It also has Pepsi, which is imported from Mexico. It has a different taste than Pepsi bottled elsewhere.

"My opinion, it tastes better," said Santana's son, Chris, who will be a junior at Hays High School and is used to drinking that kind of Pepsi.

Santana, who said everything sells well, makes trips to Great Bend to pick up inventory. A big seller has been phone cards, so customers can call home.

Santana believes her store fills a need in Hays.

"There's a lot of Hispanic people here," she said.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, it's open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Maintaining store hours has been an adjustment.

"You don't know how long you have to stay in the store," Santana said. "Most of the time, you are here."

Santana, who originally is from Durango, Mexico, and her husband have four children.

"I think Hays is a good place to live," Santana said.