About the Garcia Family
A little about us. We are the Garcias and we make people happy by sharing the Mexican culture! Think about the amazing snacks street vendors offer throughout Mexico. Our mission is to bring that incredible experience to the US.
Searching for better opportunities, our family immigrated to the US in 1995 from Jalisco, Mexico, a town known for authentic ice cream and paleta flavors. In 1998, we went all in and opened our first paleteria* in Waco, TX to showcase our hometown recipes. Since then, we have expanded to Dallas Fort-Worth with our 5th store opening this spring.
I was born in Jalisco, Mexico and I love our culture. Growing up in Mexico and then LA, the culture was vibrant. Mexican drinks, treats and flavors were on every block. I couldn’t image a place where this wasn’t the case. Yet when our family moved halfway across the country to Texas, the unimaginable occurred. Time helped suppress the need for a mamey agua fresca but that lingering desire roared back every time we visited family in Mexico.
I followed a traditional career path, attending UT Dallas and getting a job in accounting. One particularly awful busy season, I promised myself that if I were to ever work this hard again, it would be doing something I loved. I quit. I then sought more meaningful work yet I was unsatisfied with what I found.
I naturally gravitated to my childhood love: the Mexican culture and flavors. Sol Dias was born months later and I haven’t looked back since. I am excited to wake up everyday knowing that my contributions make people happier, even if it is just for a couple minutes as they enjoy their treat.
I began 2022 convinced we were never opening another storefront and we would turn into a wholesaler. Focusing our efforts on landing our ice cream in grocery stores. Why this route? In short, 70% of ice cream consumed in the US is purchased in stores and consumed at home. Additionally, opening stores requires lots of capital upfront, patience, and carries a good amount of risk.
After months of trying to make deals with grocery stores, my efforts fell flat. We had a delivery van but few routes, we had ice cream ready for shelves but only a few customers. I felt beat. Around this time, I was incredibly lucky to attend a workshop with Jeni, founder of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. I asked her as many questions as I possibly could. By the end of the workshop, one thing was clear –going after grocery stores (at our company’s stage) was a HUGE mistake. Her advice was simple, focus on your community and building your brand. What is one of the best ways that? Yup, more paleterias (stores).
I come back from the workshop, let my team know the news and the hunt for our next location began. We did get our manufacturing license so wholesale wasn't thrown out the door, it just wasn't a part of our strategy.
We secured two new locations in Irving and Waco. We will have our soft opening this Friday for one and the other will open this spring.
A couple other wins in 2021
- We aired on QVC and HSN in September
- Texas Rep Granger came to visit our shop - September
- Telemundo NBC ran a commercial spotlighting our business - September.
Can't wait for the roadblocks, successes, failures, face plants, and high rises we will face in 2022!
*paleteria is the name of our concept. Think of a scoop shop plus many more delicious treats and snacks (churros, aguas frescas, mangonadas, elotes)
Listed on Forbes Next 1000
The upstart entreprenuers redefining the American Dream
Our Team and Community Involvement
We love what we do. We love our customers and fellow team members. We love having the opportunity to share not only the flavors of Mexico but also the culture of friendliness, camaraderie, and closeness. We host community events, and make donations in hopes of making peoples day brighter and sweeter.
We are partnering with our local library to host a free events to assist the Hispanic community in filing their income tax returns. Current government programs provide free income tax preparation services but do not teach and empower them to be able to file them on their own. We focus on low income individuals and teach them how to file. Our goal is that the following year they will be able to file on their own. We discovered this need by speaking with our customers we have noticed a growing need for financial education. We hear time and time again how they are unable to do basic tasks like sign their children up for classes or free lunch because signup is only available online. Language barriers, immigration status, income and overall resources are all factors that often times hold Hispanics back from many, many privileges we take for granted. This type of event will be the first of many in our attempt to help our community be more financially and technically literate.
We host anniversary parties at our shop. They are fun events were we give away treats, play music, face paintings, jumpy houses and other fun activities for all to provide.
We volunteer and donate treats with the following organizations throughout the year, on average pre-COVID we would attend 3 events per month.
- Our local recreation center
- Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Junior Achievement
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Local library
- Local churches
- Local little leagues
Our Vision: Values, Purpose and BHAG
Winners of the Latinx Pitch Competition Hosted by the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Was 2020 the year of COVID for you? Will it define this last year in your eyes?
Honestly, COVID was a wake up call for us all. As an entrepreneur, you expect unforeseeable challenges that force the business to pivot. It's probably one of the most exciting parts. COVID brought an entirely different level of uncertainty. You didn’t know when they may shut restaurants down, how long it would all last, or if one of our team members would get infected. Never mind the worries of providing for your family and their health.
Was 2020 the year that humbled you? Did you feel secure only to see a future you imagined fall to pieces? That was us. We invested heavily early in the year expecting to kick off our busy season in March strong. As the pandemic hit and sales dropped to all time lows, we weren’t sure if we’d be able to pay our bills.
Was 2020 the year that forced you to finally take that risk or do that thing you’ve thought about for so long? It was for us. We moved locations, rebranded and expanded our e-commerce store. Three big challenges with no guarantee. We now have a better location with a drive-thru, and our customers can reach us in safer, more convenient ways.
Did losing something or worse, someone, wake you up to realize how much you care about what and who you already have in life? Did it make you think less about what you don’t have? Or maybe for you it was just the fear of loss. We didn’t hit our 2020 financial goals, but we didn’t close down. Every one of our team members was able to keep their job and stay healthy. We are blessed because we know this wasn’t the case for so many.
2020 wasn’t the year we imagined, but it was one of adapting, expansion, and gratitude. Whatever loses or new beginnings came for you in 2020, thank you all for your continued support. We wouldn’t have made it without you. We are going to continue to struggle, fight, and persevere right along with you in 2021 - so if nothing else, you can count on a little Mexican snack shop for comfort.
Feliz ano nuevo, familia.