VIDEO: Interview with Chef Mer Mansuria of Casa Indigo

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

Interview transcript

INFI: I don't know if you've heard of 8A5E Cafe down in Bridgeport. But they're a pretty interesting concept. Boyu Li, one of the owners and co-founders was talking about the importance of starting a community business and how he really involves the community in his business.

And I think Casa Indigo is very similar. So why don't we start with that a little bit, like where did that come from?

Mer: So I mean basically, all of us that are here like Beto, Marcos, and I we all grew up here. I grew up a little bit on Taylor Street, which is just a couple blocks the other way.

But I mean, the main thing wasn't so much to open a restaurant; it was to open a place of business in our neighborhood. So we could be part of whatever is going on and also be a positive effect on us being in the neighborhood.

We sponsor a basketball team for the youth, we donate to the Pilsen Food Pantry every week on Mondays. Whatever we can do to be a part of helping anything out, we want to be a part of it.

And that's basically it, there's no complex thing of anything, that's what we want to do, and that's what we're doing. I wish we could do more, but you know.

The importance of working with people who serve the best ingredients possible

INFI: And I know that you collaborate with a lot of other businesses, restaurants, and otherwise on 18th street. How was that process? Were you met with a lot of skepticism or just fully embraced from the jump?

Mer: I mean, our whole thing is local. Our menu consists of almost all, or close to local ingredients, non-GMO, and organic as possible. We're basically giving you whatever is the best we can get, and we want to serve it.