LocationAlhambra , CA
In the time of COVID-19, while businesses and restaurants are shuttering their doors, one San Gabriel Valley family is opening an ice cream and popsicle store.
Michoacana Pedir De Boca is in the small shopping complex at the Fremont entrance to the 10 freeway. In recent years a few businesses have come and gone in that corner – Musubi Hawaiian BBQ and Golden Brown Chicken from the same end unit, for example – but the family wants to prove wrong those who say it might be a bad location.
When Alex Flores, Amer Annabi and Julian Chavez heard of a unit that became available in January, they decided to go into business together, asking themselves what would best serve the community and be something Alhambra could rally around.
Michoacana is someone or thing from the state of Michoacán in Mexico, but in Southern California is associated with Mexican ice cream and popsicles, or paletas.
Not only do the men serve paletas and ice cream, but they have snacks like elote – Mexican street corn – chips, churros, fruit and juices.
The three of them rented the Fremont unit in January and were almost ready to open their doors when the county’s COVID-19 stay-at-home orders hit on March 15.
“That was a really hard pill for us to swallow,” Flores said. They would have opened at the end of March.
Fortunately, Flores said, the landlord was sympathetic to their situation, and the last three to four months have given the family time to work out the kinks and develop their menu.
Michoacana Pedir De Boca is in the “soft open” stage – open for business but not had their grand opening, which will be July 11. To date, almost no advertising has been done and the men say their business has been from word of mouth.
Chavez said they already have repeat customers. One man came in four times in two days, so they took his photo and put it on their Instagram story.
Flores has a master’s degree in finance while Annabi and Chavez are trained chefs. They can all be seen behind the counter serving guests. Though Annabi and Chavez are the ones who make up the recipes, Flores jumps in to help too. Flores says running the business is a team effort and no one has just one job.
At the moment, you can order almost everything on the menu. They’re still working out small issues, but “the goal is to have everything homemade,” said Annabi, “even down to the whipped cream. We already have the canisters ready.”
Michoacana Pedir De Boca is open 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 2130 S Fremont Ave. Alhambra, CA 91803.