Kawaii ‘Hello Kitty Café Truck’ excites local enthusiasts

El+Pasoans+shop+at+the+Hello+Kitty+Car+Saturday%2C+Oct.+19%2C+2019.

Anette Baca

El Pasoans shop at the Hello Kitty Car Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.

Maria Salette Ontiveros, Contributor

The traveling Hello Kitty Café Truck made a stop in El Paso to entice the Japanese character’s diehard fans with a variety of Hello Kitty merchandise and treats Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Cielo Vista Mall.  

 The truck officially opened shop at 10 a.m. but members of the community began arriving as early as 4:30 a.m. to get first dibs. This is the second consecutive year that the truck has come to El Paso.   

Clarissa and Cynthia Conde, two relatives and huge fans of Hello Kitty, found out about the event through Facebook.   

“We came last year, and we wanted to be here this year again,” Clarissa Conde said.   

“In California, they have an actual shop of Hello Kitty, probably where this truck comes from, and I guess it’s kind of cool that they have all those little pop-up shops,” Cynthia Conde said. “We would like to go to Japan where Hello Kitty originates from because they have a café and an actual shop and it includes all the characters, not just Hello Kitty, that is just one character in the big universe.” 

Attendees of all ages wore Hello Kitty-themed T-shirts, skirts and accessories at the event.   

Attendee Dayana Pedroza mentioned that she learned of the event through social media as well.  

“This truck travels from city to city and I think it’s good they do that because that way they can reach out to more fans in bigger cities,” Pedroza said. 

The truck sold pastries, Hello Kitty-shaped water bottles, lunch boxes, cushions, thermoses, totes, T-shirts, pins, mugs and many other items in the likeness of the Japanese cat character.   

Yuko Shimizu designed Hello Kitty and included the character in the 1974 lineup of early Sanrio characters.  

The character’s first appearance was on a Japanese vinyl coin purse, where the character sat between a bottle of milk and a goldfish bowl. Hello Kitty first appeared in the United States in 1976. 

Maria Salette Ontiveros may be reached at [email protected]