Shelf Life Community Story Project
Amplifying community voices, learning from neighborhood stories, and interrupting narratives of erasure in Seattle's Central District.

Community Store

Photo by Inye Wokoma

Photo by Inye Wokoma

Roberto “Chuy” Amaral’s family moved from Nayarit, Mexico, to Seattle, when he was 8 years old. He has worked at the Red Apple for 16 years. When he’s not working at the Red Apple, he plays with local Mexican band, Banda Vagos.

Roberto Amaral

I don’t know how to explain it. It’s a community store. Most people know me by name. sometimes for the holidays they come and bring us meals from their homes, from their barbecue or you know we have little kids bringing us little drawings that they drew for us, specifically, like you know, "oh my daughter drew you this picture." I actually have one in my drawers still, but she drew it maybe like 8 years ago, that little girl is all grown up now, you know, and I've been meaning to show her, but I haven't done it yet. 

 A lot of Hispanic people who were living here, and now they have houses in maybe Burien or Kent, but they still come up, because over here they can find the menudo meat or lengua (tongue) for tacos. We love seeing them, Sundays, they come in with their families, everybody all grown up. People are like, "So, now what are we gonna do when the store closes?"