Time was short for Health Ha’s hole-in-the-wall location across from Santa Ana Park. After just one year in business, her monthly rent has nearly tripled to over 22,000 pesos (about US$1,300)—far more than the owner can afford from selling smoothies, fruit bowls, and waffles.
So owner Wendy Garrido Arroyo’s upbeat attitude will serve her well as she figures out a survival plan.
After studying educational psychology at a university in Mexico City and spending 10 years studying human development and nutrition, Garrido concludes that “we are the result of what we think and eat every day.”
And with that idea, she opened Health Ha just four months after first moving to Merida in August 2021, a bold move for a newcomer during the pandemic.
“I didn’t know anyone in town, much less a good place for my business,” she said. With only a small amount of retail space, Calle 47 was seen as a good mix of workers, students and tourists.
After just one year in the location she invested in, Garrido will now set up shop, albeit temporarily, in a garage space on Calle 62 between 43 and 45.
“It was a hasty decision because on December 31 I have to leave the place where I am currently. However, this decision makes me happy because it is better to work in that country for a few months than to close my business,” she said.
“All of a sudden, everything is going up,” said another restaurant owner who is renting property on the street. “It seems unfair to me.”
Health Ha specializes in vitamin and antioxidant-fortified drinks, as well as fruit bowls and snacks like plant-based protein waffles, fruit and seeds. There are gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.
“I use affirmations and decrees to name a variety of drinks,” says Garrido. Soy Inteligente and Creo en Mi – I am Intelligent and I Believe in Me – are among the names on the menu. “And this is with the intention of remembering the greatness that every human being has.”
Garrido welcomes suggestions from anyone who knows space in the Santa Ana area. Contact him at email@example.com AND follow Health Ha on Facebook.
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