Fatima Mendoza is a teenager who recently opened a local ice cream parlor with a unique twist. The 19-year old teen along with her 22-year-old husband, owners of La Michocana ice cream parlor, travelled to Mexico where they bought the ice cream recipes.
“When I got out of school in 2017, I thought I was going to keep going to school. Then, I decided I wasn’t going to go to school because I wanted to support him in what he likes to do, and now, this is what I like to do.”, says Mendoza.Why It’s Newsworthy: A local teenager opens her own business to bring authentic Mexican ice cream to Athens.
Mendoza and Contreras recently opened La Michoacana on July 21, 2018 at 3750 Old Jefferson Road in Athens, Ga. Mendoza says, “We want people to come back to this place even if they live an hour away because that’s how me and my husband were. We did not care if it was raining, but if we were really craving an agua de frutas, we would drive all the day to Gainesville. I want my customers to say, ‘I want to drive all the way to Athens to go get this’.”
Mendoza adds Mexican flavors and natural ingredients like the opuntia, known as the prickly pear that comes from the cactus, to her ice cream to produce the authentic Mexican flavored ice cream.
Customer’s at La Michoacana ice cream parlor can select from more than 40 ice cream flavors and more than 100 popsicles flavors. They incorporate fresh ingredients into their creations.
“We have a lot of different ice cream flavors. The mango with chamoy has literally a carved mango inside the popsicle,” explained Mendoza.
Mendoza said she also wanted a place where the Hispanic community could feel welcomed and identified.
“A lot people ask for fresas con crema because it reminds them of Mexico. I wanted them to come in here and for them to feel happy.”
Dayana Yonsen, a customer from Peru, says Mendoza has succeeded. “You get the best food. You stay here sitting, and you get that conversation with your family.”
Blanca Lopez Olmedo is a 4th year majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.