Aragon 101- Shopping and Cooking in Coral Gables


Editors Note:  The world of food and the world of fashion have become forever entwined, as the topic at most parties and even many business meetings today features “where you ate” or “what you ate”.  Dining out has become the top form of entertainment for the stylish set and lunch has replaced shopping as the weekend activity for young and old alike.  Celebrity status has been given to chefs, and cooking shows are the newly popular reality shows. Food photography and then posting to social media is a favorite pastime as we have all become willing food “paparazzi”!

In local Miami author, Mandy Baca’s article below, she covers just such a destination…Aragon 101, a blending of owner, Erica Guzman’s, love of retail and food. 

Stepping into a world of culinary beauty and homey enchantment amidst the hustle and bustle of Coral Gables’ Aragon Avenue, Aragon 101 is located one block from the famed Miracle Mile. Set up as the extension of the owner’s home, the store is plucked straight out of the covers of the top home design magazines. The ample sleek kitchen is the centerpiece of the room, which opens up to the rest of the store’s carefully placed departments, all clad with inviting seating for lingering. The store is the stuff of dreams and after entering, you may never want to leave- you have been warned. These are the best kinds of stores; the ones that lure you in and whisk you away to happiness. For those that work in Coral Gables, a visit to the store offers a welcome respite from the stresses of the office, whether visiting during lunchtime or the grueling midday slump.

Erica Guzman, a native Miamian, is Aragon 101’s owner. Opened in the fall of 2012, after years of living abroad, the store mixes her love of retail and food, a true culmination of all of her passions. A graphic designer by trade, she moved to Milan to study fashion management and then Paris to work in the fashion capital of the world. In her downtime, she took classes at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu. She notes that food was always part of her life, a family affair that brought her large family together.

All of the store’s products are hand picked by Guzman herself, and care to quality and individuality is given to even the most simple of items, making sure to set the store apart from the more commercial mall stores of the world. The stories behind the procurement of each product are equally charming. Her first inventory came from Morocco and Istanbul and traveled there prior to the store’s opening, where she filled an entire shipping container with product. “We [my mom and I] went to the souks and rode on the backs of pickup trucks to the ends of each city for the very best products. It was an adventure that I will never forget. One that I am glad to share with my customers through the unique products at the store,” said Guzman. Among the store’s products are stationary and cards by Cards from Africa, cookbooks such as Jerusalem, Iznik ceramic art, barware and glassware by Nouvel Studio, homemade cooking gift sets, kitchen tools, home décor and table linens as well as edible products such as A’rom Moulin salts and Haute Couture olive oil.

The store also functions as a cooking school, taking inspiration from Ariana’s Etiquette and Culinary Arts School. “Remember that place? I grew up going there and it was one of my favorite places in Miami. I wanted to continue that same style of cooking class here. Chef Mary Fenster, one of our chef instructors, also used to work at Ariana’s.” Priced between $75 and $125, classes are a weekly event at the store and range in theme and menu from holiday entertaining to chocolate making, Brazilian cooking and everything in between. “The great thing about our classes is that you enjoy a full meal with wine while learning about new cooking techniques and ingredients. Our classes are also as interactive as you want them to be. Some students like to be in the heart of the action, right next to the chef, while others like to sit back and enjoy the show. There is a place for everyone at the kitchen counter.” An upcoming class on May 13th, Destination Brazil Part 3: features the cattle-rich area of Midwest Brazil. Chef Adrianna Assemany's menu includes Empadão Goiano (Goiás style pot pie with sausage and vegetables), Galinhada com Pequi (Chicken rice with pequi fruit) and Sorvete de Cajá (Cajá fruit ice cream) for dessert.  {$75 per each class}.  There is even a College Cooking 101 class for recent grads setting up their first kitchen.

There is also a heavy emphasis on the promotion of local chefs such as Ricardo Trillos from Cao Chocolates and Chef Aaron Dreilinger, a local caterer. An example of the cooking school’s unique offerings is The Graduate Cooking Class. Students not only learn the basics of cooking, but also go home with a culinary starting kit (available in a variety of colors) and a cookbook to continue the lessons they learned at the class. A full schedule of cooking classes is available on Aragon 101’s website or by calling the store.

Erica Guzman’s Aragon 101 is bringing back pizzazz to the home and food world in The City Beautiful. Here are final words of inspiration from the website: “A beautiful table means nothing without great food.”

Aragon 101

101 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables

(305) 443-7335


Open Monday – Saturday, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

( Photo Credit-  Aragon 101 )