¿Cuánto cuesta? DUMBO boutique accepts Mexican pesos

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Cash is cash in any language — just ask the owner of a new DUMBO boutique that accepts Mexican pesos.

Maurice Shrem, owner of Escondido, a store at 145 Front St. that specializes in high-end Mexican artisan-made items, said he has nothing against the dollar, but making transactions in pesos makes sense for a business that gets all of its goods south of the border.

“It’s a great way to show respect for the country,” said Shrem, a dentist who decided to open the store after visiting Mexico and falling in love with the country. “It’s better for us to have pesos to use when we go down there to buy things. And everyone who goes down there comes back with pesos in their pockets.”

Shrem claims Escondido is the first store in the entire borough to accept pesos.

The entrepreneur and his right-hand man Louis Salazar started listing the prices for all the items — including ceramics, woven place mats, carved animal figurines, among other Mexican wares — in both dollars and pesos. For example, a piece of black pottery from Oaxaca is listed as selling for $295 or 3,835 pesos.

There’s nothing illegal about accepting pesos, as long as the store still pays the sales tax based on the dollar amount.

“The law says you can’t refuse U.S. dollars, but it doesn’t say you can’t accept other kinds of money,” said Salazar.

Currently, pesos trade at about 13 to one against the dollar, meaning that 100 pesos are worth about $8.

Salazar said his employees don’t worry about checking the exchange rates every day and that, unless something drastic happens, the prices will stay as they are inside the tiny store, which opened this summer.

“It’s not like we’re the Gap and selling thousands of dollars in merchandise,” said Salazar, who admitted he feared critics would blast the business move as anti-American — but has observed no backlash so far.

Only a few people have paid in pesos, but Shrem and Salazar are hoping that more customers will use Mexican currency as the word spreads.

Bob Provazano is one customer who already taken advantage of the peso policy.

“I always bring 1,000 or 2,000 pesos back with me, so it’s great to be able to buy something with the money I have left over,” he said.

Updated 6:02 am, September 27, 2012
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

American from America says:
I say we deport this unpatriotic POS do he can use all the pesos he wants.
Sept. 29, 2012, 3:28 pm
Damian from Kensington says:
Deport? You can't deport U.S. citizens ...
Oct. 1, 2012, 11:11 am
Ruth from CT says:
Racista. Los indocumentados también valen igual k tu. Trabajan y tienen derecho de pagar con pesos si se les in ha la gana
Oct. 1, 2012, 11:01 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!