Clear skies. Low 23F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph..
Clear skies. Low 23F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: January 29, 2023 @ 5:37 pm
Emiliano Alvarez seated with his crew at Mi Corazon Mexican Cuisine.

Emiliano Alvarez seated with his crew at Mi Corazon Mexican Cuisine.
This is one of a three-part series featuring the incredible stories of those who have fought for their well-earned positions in Cannon Beach’s legacy.
Despite the modest population, Cannon Beach continues to attract and retain talent from across the world.
U.S. Census data indicates that roughly 5% of Cannon Beach residents are foreign-born individuals. While they are certainly a small group, the immigrant community has left an incredible mark on the development of Cannon Beach’s shops, restaurants, and hospitality industry.
Emiliano Alvarez expressed the sentiment of many immigrants when he said that he “considers himself born on the border.” Before settling down in Cannon Beach, Alvarez spent his early life in the quaint coastal town of Michoacan, Mexico.
Between the long stretches of sand and bustling arts scene, Michoacan and Cannon Beach might share more in common topographically than one would imagine. However, culturally, the two places could not be more different.
“I got the best of both countries,” Alvarez explained.
He was born in Michoacan in 1973, and spent his formative years like many other children; working hard in school, spending time with his close-knit family, and having some fun on the side. The ambitious teenager had big dreams.
It wasn’t long before some of Alvarez’s family members began moving up to the United States in search of higher paying work. From what he recalls, his relatives began taking jobs in parts of rural Oregon, working on various agriculture farms. “It was hard work,” Alvarez suggested.
Then came their saving grace. One day, one of Alvarez’s family members saw an ad in the local newspaper. Cannon Beach was looking to fill more jobs. According to the reports, the restaurant industry was booming.
After taking a drive up the coast and seeing a landscape strangely reminiscent of their home, his family decided to quit their laborious field jobs and give the service industry a shot.
Alvarez said he was fifteen or sixteen years-old when he left his hometown for Cannon Beach. He was able to land his first job as a dishwasher at Lazy Susan Cafe, the popular brunch spot on HemlockStreet.
There was one problem though: he knew nothing at all about dishwashers. He had never seen one in Michoacan, so the first time he met the miraculous cleaning machine was in the back of the Lazy Susan Cafe. Fortunately, with the help of some coworkers, it didn’t take long for him to become an expert.
“It was like a game for me,” he recalled. “And I was being paid for it!”
Alvarez spoke quite fondly of his first opportunity, noting that everyone treated him with kindness and respect.
“I don’t really have a good memory with people,” Alvarez said, “But perhaps the people who gave me the first opportunity, I will never forget those people.”
The young man had no English skills when he arrived in Cannon Beach, but that changed quickly when he began working.
“One of the people who taught me English was one of the cooks at Lazy Susan,” he explained. “She was the reason I could communicate with other staff and my bosses.”
After spending some time in the service industry and saving up money, Alvarez went on to attend beauty school in Las Vegas. It was there that he met his former significant other, and decided to show him the small town in Oregon that he came to know and love.
“He fell in love with Cannon Beach,” Alvarez said. After their visit, his partner convinced him to move back down permanently.
Alvarez opened his first hair salon in Seaside, where commercial rent was much more affordable.
The couple spent some years pursuing their own passions, before deciding that they wanted to open a business together that tied back to their roots. That is when they birthed the concept for Mi Corazon Mexican Cuisine.
Alvarez credited his partner for coming up with many of the creative takes on authentic dishes that can be found on the menu. “Lots of people think Mexican food is everything big and full of cheese,” said Alvarez. “We want to bring something that is actually from Mexico, not everything is spicy and full of cheese.”
The idea behind Mi Corazon was to bring out the flavors of Michoacan by utilizing the plentiful natural resources found on the Oregon coast.
“In Mexico we also use lots of organic products, when you come from a small town, everything grows organically,” explained Alvarez.
For Alvarez, the goal is to correct the perception that Mexican culture is more than deep-fried chimichangas, flying sombreros, a mariachi band, and nachos swimming in cheese. Mi Corazon takes pride in their Pacific Northwest sourced seafood, unblended margaritas, and corn tortillas made from scratch.
He admitted that it can be challenging when someone walks through his doors expecting “Tex-Mex food,” but he hopes that his customers leave the restaurant with a truly authentic experience, one that might even inspire them to travel to Mexico and taste the original food for themselves.
The business owner has one piece of advice for eager individuals who come to Cannon Beach from different walks of life. “Cannon Beach is a great town,” he encouraged. “If you do everything right, you will succeed.”

View our 1-20-23 E-Edition right here!
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