14ymedio, Natalia López Moya, Havana, 13 September 2021 — The opening of La Casa de las Conservas [The House of Preserves], located in Ayestarán, between May 19 and Néstor Sardiñas streets, in the Havana municipality of Cerro, was received with many complaints due to the long lines it generated in the first hours of its opening and the limitation on purchases by customers.
“They distributed the first 300 places in line at exactly five in the morning because the place was full of people from four o’clock,” according to a housewife who arrived at the store which takes payment in Cuba pesos, speaking to 14ymedio after eight on Sunday morning. “It closes today at 2:00 in the afternoon and it does not open on Mondays,” she complained. “In other words, they inaugurate it and it is already closed.”
La Casa de las Conservas will be open from Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm and on Sundays from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Tribuna de La Habana also reported that it will be supplied by eight factories, three in the capital and the rest in Mayabeque and Artemisa, although it may also receive products from other provinces of the country.
On reporting on the opening last Saturday, the official press limited itself to registering the visit of senior government officials, praising the effort to open the store, and promoting it as a “new type of market for the Cuban family,” but did not allude to the extensive crowds caused by a market like this, which is very scarce not only in the capital, but throughout the country.
“There are product limitations, you can only buy one of each line and they scan your identity card so that the same person cannot buy again for 15 days,” another customer complained.
The store specializes in “all kinds of preserves,” according to the Tribuna de La Habana, and “there will be a permanence of products” that “will be controlled and regulated.” This Sunday one could find: pasta or VitaNova sauces (at 200 pesos), guava jam (at 160), pizza sauces (at 160), mango jam (at 165), ground cumin (at 90), mayonnaise (at 80), ketchup (at 60) and mustard (at 50).
Despite “the control” in the sales, resellers are already offering several products. “Just yesterday, three blocks from the store, they were reselling VitaNova cans at 400 pesos and mayonnaise at 290 pesos,” a neighbor from the El Cerro neighborhood told this newspaper.
However, although officialdom promises that the trade will remain assorted, suspicion reigns in that area of the capital, and even delegates from the People’s Power have suggested to the neighbors that they try to buy as soon as possible: “You know how the inaugurations go with great fanfare,” the official warned, “the products really only last for a few days.”
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