La Teresita Grocery

Travel west from the downtown area on Columbus Drive over the Hillsborough river bridge, and soon you will arrive here.

La Teresita Grocery is located on the southwest corner of Columbus Drive and Lincoln Avenue.  On the other side of Lincoln Ave. is the Teresita Restaurant and Bakery


La Teresita founder Maximo Capdevila


Maximo Capdevila was born in a sugar-cane community in western Cuba.   He left school after the seventh grade when he was a teenager in Cuba, and went to work at a market similar in concept to our Sam's Club.  Maximo so impressed the owner of the store that the owner put him in charge. At first it really bothered him, but the owner told him, 'I trust you and you know what to do. You have a business head on you and this will make a man out of you."

Because of the many Spanish and Cuban restaurants on Columbus Drive, it is often referred to by locals as "Boliche Blvd."


The vegetable aisle; walking toward the meat market.


Maximo married Coralia Perez in 1953 and acquired his own grocery business and warehouse.  After Castro came to power, Capdevila felt his business no longer belonged to him. He wanted to start his own  grocery business in Tampa, so the Capdevilas boarded a plane in 1962 and flew to Tampa along with their four boys, Jorge, Luis, Albert, and Maximo, Jr. 

Max and Coralia saved their money; with Max  working for 11 years at Acme Plating Co. and Coralia working many long hours for many years at The Tropical Garment Company as a seamstress. The two older boys, Jorge and Luis, started working at the age of 9 and 7 selling hot Cuban corn tamales on their bicycles on the streets of Tampa on the weekends, and soon Albert and Maxi followed.  Three years later, the boys began working at their uncle's meat market. The boys worked weekends and summers for many years.

In 1972, Max and Coralia took a loan from the Small Business Administration and bought a small grocery store from Raymond & Sons, which was named La Teresita for Raymond's wife.  Maximino and Coralia, along with their four boys and faith in God, went on to work together to make their American dream a reality.

It was a few years before Max and Coralia even hired someone from outside of the family. The Capdevilas worked long and hard hours, often 16 hours a day, every day, for years, with their four sons working before and after school, too.

The store began serving cafe con leche and sandwiches, and the Capdevilas eventually added a small counter-top restaurant, the La Teresita Coffee Shop, to the grocery store. The small grocery store became a supermarket, fish & meat market and a small coffee and sandwich shop with a large customer base.

Demand grew, and soon, the restaurant seating was not large enough to meet the customer demand. The family made the decision to buy the Philips 66 gas station across the street on the corner of Lincoln and Columbus Drive  and created a separate coffee shop there. The restaurant business took off, and the family sold the grocery store in 1986.


In 1993, the family moved the restaurant to its current location at 3246 W. Columbus Drive and called it Capdevila's at La Teresita. The site includes the main restaurant, an adjacent cafe that is open all night on weekends, a banquet hall and a bakery.

Maximo Capdevila passed away in Tampa on Dec. 26, 2010 at age 82, after several years of heart problems.

Visit Capdevila's La Teresita website

La Teresita is always busy, but their efficient family staff can get you on your way in no time.


La Teresita Grocery was owned by Sunny & David, Inc. from 1996 to 2001, and from 2002 to 2007 it was owned by Woori Enterprise, Inc.  The entire strip center plaza is owned by LEE HYO KEUN and LEE KYUNG SOOK.





Don't forget to pick up a loaf of pan Cubano.



The Lincoln Spanish Restaurant is located on the northeast corner of Lincoln Ave. and Columbus Drive.



The old and the new represented here, tradition combined with high technology!  Located on the 3300 block of Columbus Drive.

What is a Guayabera you ask?  Place your cursor on the button below to read about it.  Click the button to see it.

The guayabera (also known as a Mexican wedding shirt) is a style of men's shirt popular througout Latin America. The origin of the garment is disputed as various claims have attributed the distinctive style to differing Latin American countries. Usually, though, Mexico and Cuba are listed as originating the shirt.  The style is marked by four (lower and upper) or sometimes two (lower only) pockets on the front of the shirt. Two vertical rows of alforzas (pleats, usually ten, that are sewn closely together) run on the front (over the pockets) and back of the shirts. The top of each pocket is usually adorned with a button, as are the bottoms of the alforzas. The Cuban guayabera, unlike the Mexican, also has the alforzas going down the center of the shirt, over the button holes. The bottom of the shirt has three-inch slits on each side engaged with a small button. As a straight-bottomed shirt, it is not tucked into the trousers. The cuffs may be either one-button or French-cuffed. The white, French-cuffed guayabera, worn with a black bowtie, is considered to be equivent to a tuxedo and can be worn as formal attire. Traditionally worn in white, guayaberas are now available in many colors and shades and in short-sleeved version. Cuban designers in exile have modified the original style, creating guayaberas for women as well as guayabera-styled dresses. Guayabera use has spread to many Asian countries, including Thailand and the Philippines, although some sources claim the Filipino Barong Tagalog predates the guayabera. Asian versions normally have embroidery in place of the alforzas. Some Mexican and Panamanian designers have also begun using embroidery and some designers have even used both alforzas and embroidery on their shirts. The origin of the name guayabera may come from a Cuban legend that tells of a poor countryside seamstress sewing large pockets into her husband's shirts for carrying guava (guayabas) from the field, thus creating the guayabera style. The guayabera's name may also have originated from the word yayabero, the word for a person who lived near the Yayabo River in Cuba.


The Churro truck at the southwest corner of Columbus Drive and Lincoln Ave., parked next to La Teresita Grocery.

He is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm. In addition to Churros, signage indcates he sells Arepa de Choclo (a corn-based bread found in the Northern Andes of Colombia and Venezuela. It is usually transformed into a patty and then baked, grilled or fried. Some people stuff them with either cheese, vegetables or meats), Yucca Rellena (stuffed Yucca), and a "special" Sandwich de Pollo (Chicken sandwich) with French Fries and Lemonade. He also has a menu consisting of approximately 10 sandwiches and several side orders.

Churros, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, are fried-dough pastry-based snacks, sometimes made from potato dough, that originated in Spain. They are usually sprinkled with confectioner's sugar and popular in Latin America, France, Portugal, Morocco, the United States, Australia, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands. (And especially Tampa.) There are two types of churros in Spain. One is thin (and usually knotted) and the other, especially popular in Madrid, is long and thick (porra). They both are normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate.


MORE West Tampa pages at Tampapix:
Albany Avenue
- See the orignal "Academy of the Holy Names" and cigar factories on Albany Ave.
Columbus Drive Bridge - The Gateway to West Tampa, Hillsborough River & Rivercrest Park
Fire Station No. 9 at Tampania and Chestnut St.
Fort Homer Hesterly Armory has showcased everything from NWA wrestling to JFK, Pink Floyd and Elvis.
George Guida house at MacFarlane Park - Once the home of "Mr. West Tampa"
Howard Avenue - Travel along Howard Ave. from Main St. to St. Louis St.
La Ideal Cafeteria at Tampa Bay Blvd. and Gomez Ave., a popular West Tampa landmark
La Teresita Grocery Store at Columbus Drive and Lincoln Ave.
Macfarlane Park - A favorite of West Tampans, named for the father of West Tampa
Raymond James Stadium - Home of the 2002 NFL Champions Tampa Bay Bucs and Super Bowl 43
Tampa Bay Blvd. Elementary School - Built in 1926 to educate cigar workers' children
West Tampa Little League Ball Park - Home of the 1970 Senior Little League World Champs
West Tampa History - The cigar that sparked a revolution, and Fernando Figueredo, West Tampa's first mayor.

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