If anyone can be said to have bodegas in his blood, it’s Alexandro Tejeda of Las Americas Market in Dorchester. He’s owned the store since 2008. Prior to that, he owned the Pueblo Market in Market Square of Lynn, MA. And before that, he owned the Codman Square Market in Dorchester, MA for 15 years.
And while he had no part in designing the striking color scheme of Las Americas Market, he heartily approves of the previous owner’s taste.
Originally from Santo Domingo, he was inspired to purchase his first bodega from his older brother, who’s since gotten out of the business. Alexandro enjoys the independence and “being my own man.” While not afraid of trouble or robberies – “I’ve been lucky so far,” he said – he’s not keen on the late hours sometimes. “I’m always on call. Something goes wrong, no one else is around to fix it.” He ended the interview with an expressive shrug that seemed to say “that’s life.”
Tejeda soon left the building, but not before enlisting his worker Jorge Mejia to pose for me. I sent him a copy of the photograph above, but I never heard back from him.
Photographic Notes: Alexandro Tejeda did not want to be filmed for the Bodega Project, so I assumed that meant no photographs as well. I was right. So I took out my phone and asked if I could record his voice. Nope, not all right. No recording. I took out my notebook and started to write down what he was saying, but he nixed that as well. However, he had no problem just talking to me. “No record,”he said. “You remember it.” I didn’t think I could, but the pressure was on. I had to include his information so I enlisted the aid of a memory enhancement course I’d taken.