By ALEX MEDINA, BOYLE HEIGHTS BEAT
Boyle Heights — Customers entering Boyle Heights’ A & Z Nut Wagon find shelves of small bags stuffed with many varieties of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and candy. Knickknacks line the walls, including nutcrackers, old-fashioned toy cars, antique figurines, a miniature cart adorned with the shop’s name and Mexican novelty items.
The crowded shop awakens the senses. Inside, customers breathe in both nutty scents and the mildly spicy aroma of the shop’s signature beef jerky, which LA Magazine once praised as “thick and smoky and [which] unlike commercial brands, comes apart in your mouth in flavorful shreds.”
Located at the corner of Lorena Street and Whittier Boulevard, the shop has drawn both local customers and people from all over Southern California for more than 70 years. Some loyal customers who have left the area still have items delivered or stop by when they’re visiting.
Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth and a sister website with stories also produced by community members “por y para la comunidad.”
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