Thanya Ledezma offers authentic Mexican dishes in the southern neighborhood of Oneonta.
The Mexico City native launched Azul Oneonta at 6730 State Highway 23 in mid-September, but brings a lifetime of culinary prowess to the cafe.
“As a Mexican, it’s a cultural thing,” she said. “Women are always in the kitchen, and whatever you do in life, you have to know how to cook. For us, traditionally, cooking is a main thing; it’s part of the culture and we get together every weekend and cook.
“I used to own Greenane Farms in Meridale with my husband,” Ledezma continued. “I moved on and opened this. I moved (to the US) 10 years ago with him, he brought me right here, and… now I’m a single mom and I thought to myself, “I have to do something. (I’ve had) all these years of my culinary experience and my career – about 15 years working in the kitchen – so that’s what I did.” Also, my family is a big, big, big part of it, my two sisters and my brother who cook are part of it, we put this together, so I’m not just the owner, I own this with them and everything the world cooks, I can’t do it without them and their support.
Ledezma said she brings her love of family and culture to the fare.
“We opened on September 17 and we didn’t think we were going to do this, it was just an opportunity we had,” she said. “I talked to my brother and my sisters, and that’s what we do and what we love to do, so we said, ‘Let’s do it.’ It’s a nice place and a nice place and it’s really traditional Mexican food, not street food. We offer brunch and lunch. We’re not a restaurant; it’s more like a cafe, as the place is so small so we focus more on takeout and lunch orders.
“I love this company and we really love cooking,” Ledezma continued. “I think the key, what keeps us (moving forward) is that it’s real. Everything we make from scratch; all the tacos, everything, are handmade and that’s not It’s not like it came out of the box. Everything is fresh and we do it with a lot of love and respect. and since we had (Greenane) Farm, we really love working with fresh produce… and taking care of it. the earth and all that.
Customer favorites, Ledezma said, include Azul’s enchiladas, tacos and taco salad.
Ledezma said the customers mostly represented Oneonta, but the enthusiasm was widespread.
“Oh, my God, that was awesome,” she said. “We were just hoping, but we’ve been so packed and full, and I can’t say enough good things about the community. They were really nice and (shown) a lot of support. We’ve been so busy, it’s been crazy.
Ledezma said that once established, she hopes to expand the cafe’s reach.
“It’s early days for us and we really don’t know what to expect, but what really matters is to move on and keep the business going,” she said. “I don’t know, maybe another place in Cooperstown would be great.”
Azul Oneonta is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday; and 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday.
For more information, find “Azul Oneonta NY” on Facebook or follow @azuloneontany on Instagram.