People + Stories

Homegrown Goodness Shines at Antojitos Martin

“Inglewood means home,” says Christian Martin, co-owner with his parents and siblings of Antojitos Martin, a wildly popular neighborhood go-to with healthy juices and traditional Mexican sweets. “It’s where we were born, where we were raised … All of our employees are from here, too. This is their home and these are their people.”

Esor and Gloria Martin, who emigrated from Mexico in the 80s with big dreams and little else, opened the family’s first restaurant, Fiesta Martin Mexican Grill, in Inglewood in 2009. It was a tiny space with barely room for 40 but its location one block from their home couldn’t be beat. Even though they started in the midst of the Great Recession, the restaurant thrived, with everyone in the family, young and old, pitching in.

Five successful restaurants and more than a decade later, the Martins love of — and belief in — their hometown continues to shine.

When they opened up Antojitos Martin three years ago, “Inglewood didn’t really have these kinds of health drinks,” says Christian. “You couldn’t find ginger shots, kale, beets. People in our community also wanted fresh, healthy options.”

Christian jokingly calls the new Hollywood Park space “Antojitos Martin 2.0.”

“What we’re looking to create is a kind of edgy, fun, high energy space,” he says.

When asked about the incongruity of serving healthy juices alongside sweet and savory snack foods, he laughs. “It sounds crazy but it works,” says Martin. “People love it. You can go with your friend who’s a health freak who’ll get a juice and and maybe it’s a cheat day for you, and you say, I’ll take a churro.”

Christian says the family’s goal, always, is to bring families and the community together. Great news is that’s our goal, too.

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