Tajin and Chamoy—two popular fruit seasonings—can be found in almost every menu item at Woodinville’s recently opened Mexican sweet and snack shop.
Cynthia Perez, owner and founder of Antojitos Toxicos, said the shop officially opened in July at their downtown Woodinville location, 12637 NE Woodinville Dr. The business is open every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., she added.
For Perez and her mother, the COVID-19 pandemic became a new beginning.
In 2020, Perez was laid off from her job in retail. She said her mother was also laid off after 20 years of service in the restaurant industry.
“We started brainstorming of what we could do because we still had bills to pay,” she said.
Perez, who currently lives in Monroe, Wash., said she always enjoys grabbing corn on the cob or sweetened fruit from Mexican snack shops near her house. She noticed that the Woodinville and Bothell areas do not have many options for those craving classic Mexican specialties, she added.
The mother-daughter duo started selling treats from their kitchen at home to mostly close friends and family members, Perez said.
“We quickly realized this would be a good business, and something that people would really enjoy,” she said.
After a few months of filling out paperwork and signing a lease, Antojitos Toxicos officially had a storefront that allows community members to dine-in or takeout food.
Perez, 22, spent most of her childhood in downtown Bothell with her family. She did not grow up in Mexico. However, ever since she was 5 years old, she would visit the country once or twice each year.
“I definitely love being down there and experiencing the culture,” she said.
Handmade ceramic paintings directly from Mexico cover the walls of the restaurant to honor her culture, she noted.
Perez’s mother is the creative force behind the recipes for the menu, as she has experience baking desserts for events.
She said a crowd favorite is the Mangonada and Limoneada, which can be commonly found in other Mexican sweet shops as well. Although, she noted, Antojios Toxicos’ take on the dessert offers a twist.
Usually, Mangonadas are the consistency of a smoothie mixed with fresh mango, chamoy and tijan. Perez said her shop uses ice cream, mangos, chamoy and tajin, with tamarind candies to top it off.
For Perez, she describes her favorite dessert as a “Mexican version of a Twinkie.” A small cake is filled with strawberry jam and covered in chocolate. The dessert is not complete without two scoops of ice cream, fresh strawberry whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
In the future, Perez said, she hopes to expand their menu by adding traditionally Hispanic alcoholic beverages. She also looks forward to meeting more community members and serving high quality desserts and snacks.
“It has been nice to see how many people of other cultures are coming in and trying our stuff,” Perez said.