WACO, Texas – The small town of Jalisco, Mexico is about six hours north of Mexico City, and is known for making paletas and ice cream. These hometown treats are taking Waco by storm.
“We came here in 1998, and it didn’t take long for us to realize that something like this was missing here in Waco,” says Helados La Azteca owner Eduardo Garcia.
Eduardo’s father opened Helados La Azteca as a distribution company for stores and people to sell ice cream out of carts.
“And then we realized we need something for the public. And that’s how this came to be. And also how the first location came to be. And we’ve been open there for about ten years now,” Garcia says.
An opportunity for a better life brought the Garcia family to Central Texas.
“When we first moved to Los Angeles, I think my father was working as a server making probably minimum wage, working two or three jobs. Same with my mom. He was just looking for opportunities, and whenever he realized that, you know, there’s so much opportunity in this community, we all ended up migrating here,” Garcia says.
Paletas are their specialty, which are similar to popsicles with a Mexican twist.
“It’s a process that’s just been passed down from my uncle, to my dad, to me, to my brother, and it’s going to continue. And as it continues, we add new things,” Garcia says.
Eduardo plans to include all the classic flavors like tamarindo, horchata, and rompope to the family’s third location on Colcord Avenue. But he is also planning to add 20 new flavors.
“The ones I’m going to be having here are going to be the new ones like avocado, queso, frutas, fresas con crema. Those flavors that we are known for in Mexticacan,” Garcia says.
Eduardo is using his opportunities as a chance to honor his family’s history and its future.
“I’m very fortunate to be born here in the states and for my father and my mother to be such hard workers and get me to where I am right here, because I wouldn’t be here without them, honestly. Without their hard work, I wouldn’t be here,” Garcia says.
Garcia is bringing a little taste of home to Waco.
“In our hometown, they are always coming up with new flavors. Over there they come up with corn flavor paletas, bean flavors, just crazy things. But, once people get into the rhythm and get used to them, people will love that culture. It is definitely a really cool culture we are bringing to the community. It’s just a perfect amount of sweetness or a perfect amount of sourness. You’ll fall in love with it,” Garcia says.