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La Tiendita

The Little Store That Could

For Jason Hernandez, standing at the crossroads of Greenville Road and Murray Street in East McKinney is a full circle moment. When he was growing up here, the store on this high-profile corner was a place to be avoided. Now, thanks to his unwavering dedication, children who used to tread by hesitantly now walk up to “La Tiendita” with beaming smiles. Hernandez is breathing life into the heart of East McKinney, shaping it into the vibrant and thriving neighborhood it was always destined to be.

Gone are the days of the corner store being a place to avoid. He’s cleared the shelves and replaced the remnants of the past with a fresh vision. Junk food, lotto tickets, and cigarettes? They're out. Instead, there’s produce and other healthy options generously provided from local farmers, grocery stores, and supporters. Worried you can’t afford it? No problem. Hernandez is working to provide subsidized options so everyone can afford the good stuff.

Hernandez is brimming with ideas for the store: a small café, an outside gathering area, and free Wi-Fi so students can grab a healthy snack after school then hang out at the tables to study. "Honestly, I'm no expert on running a store, but with help from the community I’m learning the ropes. Ultimately, my goal is to do something good for the hood,” he beams. “I love McKinney!”

As an entrepreneur, business owner, and activitist, Hernandez has been described as an “energizer bunny with a heart of gold.” His journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur was not without its struggles, but having experienced firsthand the transformative power of community support, he’s made it his life's mission to give back.

Hernandez is a force to be reckoned with, and his efforts have not gone unnoticed. His relentless pursuit of strengthening McKinney earned him the ultimate recognition – a key to the city.  As he held the key while being featured as a hometown hero on a “Main Street USA” episode of Good Morning America, Hernandez's eyes reflected pride not just for his personal achievement, but also the collective efforts of a tight-knit community that continuously rallies behind him. 

What’s Next?

Hernandez's mission at La Tiendita extends beyond just revitalizing the physical space. His ATLAST (Aspiring Texas Latinos Achieving Success Together) initiative aims to empower local youth, instilling them with knowledge, skills, and confidence to become leaders. In the program, high school students will learn the art of business as they embark on a journey of empowerment, guiding them away from adversity and towards a brighter future. ATLAST interns will be shaped by more powerful forces and have more opportunities than Hernandez did when he was growing up in East McKinney.  


 

Curious to know more? Stop by the store to see the transformation yourself and bring donations of fresh fruit and healthy snacks for community kids. The magic of hope and fresh beginnings is happening in McKinney. Be part of it!

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