North Texas Daily

A tale of two cultures: Family shares their story through small store

A tale of two cultures: Family shares their story through small store

A tale of two cultures: Family shares their story through small store
September 08
12:00 2022

Beams of sunlight pour in through tall windows, bouncing off colorful tassels and bright artwork hanging on the walls. Biridiana Ordoñez greets customers with a smile as they walk into her store and browse the unique handmade goods. 

M&B Tiny Shop features handmade items from Mexico, Guatemala and locals on Sept. 3, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

Biridiana, a Mexican American former teacher and mother of two is the owner of M&B Tiny Shop. The store opened its second location on 208 E. McKinney St. last month and sells products from Mexico and Guatemala. M&B combines the two cultures of Biridiana’s family and shares them with the Denton community.

In December 2020, Biridiana and her Guatemalan American husband Manny Ordoñez opened their first store location in Sanger. The Ordoñez family lives in Sanger, so when she came across a location downtown, she decided to open up shop there.

“I was actually looking [for a location] here in Denton, but the opportunity in Denton wasn’t happening,” Biridiana said. “Then, we ran into the shop we have [in Sanger] so we just went for it. We were already looking for a brick and mortar, and we thought it was a good place to start.”

At the time of the Sanger store’s opening, Biridiana was teaching at Strickland Middle School in Denton, so having a location closer to home allowed for flexibility. The store was open in the afternoons after school and on weekends.

Shortly after the Sanger location opened, a customer who knew Biridiana was looking for a Denton location suggested the space behind Ambro’s Tacos y Más. Biridiana and Manny noticed the space was empty after eating at the restaurant so they asked about it.

The M&B Tiny Shop features handmade items from Mexico, Guatemala and locals on Sept. 3, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

“It just kind of happened, pretty much, [while we were] getting tacos,” Biridiana said.

Inside M&B Tiny Shop, you can find handmade products from artisans in Mexico, Guatemala and Latinos in the DFW area. All of whom Biridiana knows personally. Manny also sources products for the store, including coffee from his own family in Guatemala.

Manny’s father is from Huehuetenango, Guatemala, where his family has been making coffee for several years. They sell most of their coffee domestically, but Manny’s parents bring coffee to sell in the store in small batches.

“Biri and I don’t really drink coffee, but there’s something about coffee from the family farm,” Manny said. “Every time I visit I drink it daily – at least three times a day. I’m just glad it’s something we can bring back to share with others here in Denton.”

Nancy Ramirez, a psychology sophomore, has worked as Biridiana’s assistant for nine months. During high school, Ramirez, who is Mexican and Guatemalan American, served as president of her school’s League of United Latin American Citizens. There, she met Biridiana, who attended one of the organization’s meetings as a guest speaker.

After the meeting, Ramirez followed Biridiana’s small business on Instagram. In January, she saw that Biridiana was hiring and reached out. 

“One of the big reasons I reached out was because [the store] was based on Guatemala and Mexico and that’s exactly my heritage,” Ramirez said. “Since there aren’t many Guatemalan places, the store gives me an opportunity to learn more about my own culture and to be able to share it with others.”

M&B Tiny Shop features handmade items from Mexico, Guatemala and locals on Sept. 3, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

After the 2020-21 school year, Biridiana left teaching to spend more time with her children and to be able to focus on the store. Biridiana and Manny have two sons, Xavi, 4, and Eli, 2. Biridiana says running the store helps the couple teach their children about who they are.

“Combining our cultures is also teaching our kids who they are, their identity,” Biridiana said. “We want them to not just know that they’re Mexican American, but that they’re also Guatemalan. I want them to keep that in mind as they grow up and cherish their culture.”

Featured Image: Owner of the M&B Tiny Shop Biridiana Ordonez poses for a photo in the store on Sept. 3, 2022. Photo by Maria Crane

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Kaitlynn Hutchins

Kaitlynn Hutchins

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