12 FEBRUAR Y 2014 nacsonline.com
the wine store displays thousands of bottles.
Nestled around the shelves, the International Tapas Restaurant offers diners four-top
tables and two trestle tables.
A major advantage to having several
businesses within one building is that El
Carajo is rarely slow. The bakery brings in
customers during the morning and lunch
dayparts, while the restaurant keeps the
traffic flowing into the dinner hour starting
around 6 p.m. The only time that could use a
boost in customers is the 3: 30 pm to 5: 30 pm
slot — which has Fonseca thinking up ways
to stay busy in the afternoon.
The uniqueness of El Carajo has garnered
attention from local and national TV, radio,
newspapers (including the Miami Herald and
New York Times) and magazines such as
Southern Living. “We don’t have to advertise
because of all the free publicity,” he said. Word
of mouth also generates new customers, who
come to try the tasty tapas or fine wines.
Nowadays, Fonseca has largely given the
running of the enterprise over to his three sons,
but it was his vision that brought El Carajo to its
current iteration — and critical acclaim. Future
plans include enlarging the
bakery’s seating area from the
current six seats to accommo-
date customers who want to
sit down and enjoy their
lunch. “When we added the
food, we became a more
specific destination,” Fonse-
ca said, adding that he hopes
the success of El Carajo will
inspire other retailers to try
Sarah Hamaker is a NACS
Magazine and NACS Daily
contributing writer. Visit her
online at www.sarahhamaker.com.
Several businesses in
one building means El
Carajo is rarely slow.
The bakery serves fine chocolates,
fruit tarts, Spanish desserts and