The Township of Union honored Ruben Peraza Jr., the owner of Magic Fountain, with their 2017 Hispano of the Year award as a part of their Hispanic Heritage Celebration this past Saturday.
In accepting the award, Peraza talked about what growing up in a Hispanic household meant to him.
“The scent of all of the Latin food, and the sound of Latin rhythms brings me back to those times as a kid spending Sundays with my family and friends,” Peraza said.
He went on to talk about the sense of togetherness, brought about by these Sundays that were usually spent at his grandmother’s house, who he affectionately referred to as Mama.
“No one came empty handed,” he said. “All day there would be arguments and stories of old time over dominos.”
It’s this sense of community and family, he says, that encompasses what growing up Latino meant to him.
Peraza has been a resident of the township for 20 years and has been a Union-business owner for more than a year with his ice cream shop Magic Fountain.
Located on the corner of Stuyvesant Ave and Vauxhall Rd, Magic Fountain has been known for their homemade ice cream such as ice cream cakes, Italian ices, and other frozen treats. Peraza prides himself on his business.
"It's a true ice cream shop," Peraza says when describing the Magic Fountain. "We try to give the homemade ice cream experience and the people that come here are great."
Even though he has only been a Union business owner for one year and two months, Peraza takes it upon himself to get more involved with the communities around town and is also a Chamber of Commerce member and a member of the Union Center Special Improvement District Board. He is also dedicated to charitable giving.
"The community gives to us, so I like to give back to them," Peraza said.
Peraza felt humbled by being named the recipient for this year's Hispano of the Year Award.
"[Union] is just a great community with a good mixture of people," Peraza says. "I feel extremely honored and I'm very appreciative of this award."