MARIANO PEREZ, owner of Los 3 Reyes Bakery in historic downtown Faribault likes the bright green color of his bakery.
“In my country, they use this color every house,” says Perez, a native of Morelos, Mexico. It is, he adds, a “happy color.”
But not everyone in Faribault appreciates the vivid storefront in the 400 block of Central Avenue, an area of primarily neutral brick buildings. Perez was approached about repainting the bakery a more subdued green after some business owners took issue with the color, according to a report in The Faribault Daily News. Businesses even donated monies for repainting when Perez indicated he could not afford to redo the recently-painted bakery.
The entire situation has created quite a stir in the community based on comments made on The Daily News website. And rightfully so. Why should Perez have to repaint the building? He’s breaking no laws, ordinances or historic district guidelines.
Rather, here is a man who simply wanted to improve the building he rents and did so by choosing a paint color common to his culture. So what if it doesn’t resemble every other building in the block or downtown?
You might expect Perez to be upset about the whole controversy, but surprisingly, he isn’t. “I don’t want to change (the color), but I do what city say,” he tells me. “We can paint any color. I like to see the building nice. It doesn’t matter to me. No problem to change color.”
But, Perez adds, “More people like it. I think two people don’t like it. I don’t know why they don’t like it.”
Numerous people have stopped at his business, encouraging him to keep the “very nice color,” Perez says.
I agree. He should keep the “happy color” that reflects his culture, and his demeanor. He’s done nothing wrong. Perez is living the American dream by running his business in a free country. He’s bringing business to downtown Faribault. He’s also meeting a need in the community.
That said, I admire Perez’ positive attitude and genuinely sincere and cooperative spirit. I doubt I could be as gracious. I expect that had this been anyone else, lawyers would already be engaged in the issue.
(Watch for a future blog featuring photos taken inside this charming ethnic bakery.)
© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling and Miranda Helbling