With a mission to improve health within the Latino community, Milagros De Mexico provides the essential products and resources for a healthier lifestyle.
“We started Milagros de Mexico 12 years ago, really with a passion to help Latinos navigate with their health journey here in the United States and help them with a lot of the chronic conditions that they have,” Mauricio Simbeck, CEO of Milagros de Mexico, told El Tecolote. “… I saw that need … the Mission and Fruitvale are points of entry for a lot of these immigrants whether they’re from Mexico or from Central America.”
Coming from Mexico himself, he knows that healthy eating habits can be a challenge for many, especially those who are working class and who don’t have access to healthier options.
“Many Latinos are working really hard and they don’t have time to go back and cook a meal at … home for lunch, they have all these fast food options in front of them and that’s what they eat,” Simbeck said.
He recommends working folks bring their lunch from home and drink less sugary beverages.
“We need to make sure we are disciplined because as we age, it’s very easy for us to gain weight and as we gain weight, that’s where the pre-diabetes, diabetes and obesity comes with other issues or health conditions which takes a toll on our heart and joints,” he told El Tecolote.
Milagros De Mexico began in the Bay Area with five different locations, one location in Los Angeles and two in Houston, Texas.
“We have one medical clinic — Milagros Medical — which is a clinic inside our San Francisco store, where we offer medical services at a very low fee and where patients can also do lab work … they can also get prescriptions,” Simbeck said.
He plans to continue expanding and open five more locations in the Bay Area over the next two years, as well as open locations in other states including Arizona and New Mexico.
After leaving Mexico City, Simbeck came to the U.S. and attended Harvard Business School and worked for a business for six years before creating Milagros De Mexico.
“I recommended young aspiring entrepreneurs to work in a large company, you learn and see how companies work, all the discipline, performance, appraisals and everything,” Simbeck said. “Some people don’t do that, they skip and go straight into entrepreneurship early on, it’s better to learn the ropes in a large company [for] a few years and then you can launch your own company and save as much money as you can.”
Brad White, Milagros De Mexico’s Vice President of Operations and Growth, has worked alongside Simbeck for almost a year, but in such a short time has been inspired by him.
“[Simbeck] is passionate and committed and he’s concerned for his people. He believes in the mission and understands the health challenges Latinos face every day,” White told El Tecolote. “He’s educated me on the culture, the language and I learn something from him every day.”
As Spring finishes and summer starts, Milagros De Mexico is focusing on allergies and pain management, helping construction workers and those working in labor with joint pain and a year-round focus on people with chronic conditions.
Simbeck plans to make more adjustments in stores and continue to educate the younger generation as they are the key to future health.
“We have helpers in our stores teach our customers once a month how to eat healthier and we are in the process of bringing some nutritionists in our stores,” Simbeck said. “For young kids, it’s important not to eat too many unhealthy snacks and candy and avoid sugars as it can become addictive.”
Milagros De Mexico listens to its customers to not only provide the products they need but to connect with their customers and understand them.
“The numbers will tell you that there are many Latinos in the Bay Area and when you look, for example in the Mission District, there are many first-generation Latinos, that’s our customer, that’s our base,” White said. “You look at the second and third generation Latinos, they are out in the Suburbs, that’s your Rite Aid and CVS customer, they don’t rely on the service levels that Milagros De Mexico delivers which is really able to communicate with our first generation focus customer.”