At the end of the 19th century, Dolores Levil Biel, a Mexican daughter of Spanish parents, travelled to Madrid to learn about the land of her ancestors. Seduced by the city, she decided to move there and opened a small coffee shop on Calle Preciados, which ended up being known simply as “La Mexicana”.
The coffee was supplied by José Rodríguez, grandfather of La Mexicana’s current director, who had begun roasting coffee in the courtyard of his home. The two entrepreneurs collaborated for many years, until José eventually took over the business. Today it is run by members of the third generation of his family.
In the 1970s, José’s son Juan Carlos undertook the expansion of the business. It was such a success that it became commonplace to see long queues of customers in front of the aromatic red shop on Preciados. In 1990 the business was even recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as “the shop which sells the most coffee in the world