A single mother with four kids, lawyer Maria Cano immigrated from Colombia to New York City 25 years ago. She set up her famous food cart on 79th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, making and selling homemade arepas from 8 pm until 5 am.
When she was ready to retire, youngest son Alejandro left his job at a Volkswagen dealership to open a brick-and-mortar shop in 2014 so they could operate all year round. His wife Nelly quit her job as a medical assistant to become the new chef, under the tutelage of the Arepa Lady herself.
THE ORIGINAL AREPA LADY'S
To be completely honest, I have no idea where my mom got this from originally. It's from some type of pot. As far back as I can remember, she always used that same pot.
She liked the measurement. It's like the perfect measurement. My mom is really short, she has small hands, it was easy for her to use.
-- Alejandro Osorio