Just recently, I had a great opportunity to be introduced to Pamela Rueda via Facebook by a colleague of mine, Jennifer Buxton. Pamela is the owner of Red Cilantro Media, a Dallas based video production boutique geared towards creating online videos for both the English and Hispanic market. However, she started a new venture based on her Mexican culture and love of Mexican cuisines. It’s called PoPaLiCious and it’s a business that offers a variety of delicious flavors of paletas, or Latin American fruit bars, more information can be found on the Facebook page.
I wanted to learn more about PoPaLiCious and what inspired Pamela to start this new culinary business so I took the time to ask her a couple of questions, of what ideas that got her going as well as the current online media technologies being used to get her business noticed.
I grew up in Mexico surrounded by wonderful Paleta stores (Paletas is a word that comes from PALO, meaning stick). They are wonderful frozen treats made with fruit that may be water-based or cream based. Growing up, my parents would always take my brother and I to the store and let us pick a couple…they were the highlight of my week, with their chunks of colorful fruit and wholesome deliciousness. I started missing those treats from the moment I left Mexico. A couple of months ago, walking through a store, I bumped into a popsicle maker, and that was the inspiration I needed to get the whole idea started.
I think my business has two goals: The first one, to offer a healthy, all-natural alternative to the frozen treats that are out in the market. Whereas grocery stores have artificially colored and flavored popsicles, Popalicious paletas provide a treat that will allow you to indulge in an all natural-way, without the artificial ingredients or the extra-fat. Move over, ice-cream!
My second goal is to highlight a product that represents my beautiful Mexico. My homeland is full of culinary delights that are unknown to the American people. We are so great at merging our cultural richness in our food…this treat reflects the love for fruit, for spices, for delicate flavors…together with the colors, flavors and folklore that represent our people. I don’t think that American people associate gourmet, organic and artisanal products with Mexican cuisine, so I find it fascinating to introduce this product to a market that cannot help but fall in love with it.
Money! Its very hard to start a business with no capital. So far, the only thing that has fueled me is my passion for the product, and the reaction I get from people when they try it. I am putting together a plan to grow the business, but the challenge of money, and of running a one-woman operation (that is still not profitable) is always a challenge – but I embrace it because I have a vision for what this can grow to be.
I am currently promoting PoPaLiCiOuS via Facebook mostly. I am integrating video modules, pictures, recipes, and special deals for our followers. I am also using direct email to reach my clients and friends, sending them updates or links to the latest videos about the product – I am a video producer by trade and host all of my videos on Vimeo, which is a great platform to display video content. The prettier the photos and videos, the better — I think this product needs to be tasted, of course, but it is also very visually appealing, so I am hoping that love will stem from sight and get them interested to try it.
Part of my goal to highlight Mexico has a dream attached to it. In the future, I would love to grow the business where I can use some of the proceeds to benefit an organization that helps children. The paletas are made in a commercial kitchen in Dallas, by the expert hands of paleteros from Mexico (paleta makers). I really love knowing that we are using locally-grown fruits bought at downtown fruit markets, and that I am supporting Mexican hand-labor. There is just something special about knowing the product is authentic on every level, using the same techniques from back home.
Be passionate about your idea. I have days when I look at my profit margin and I want to walk away… but I am not going to, because I have a passion for my product and what it represents. Make a plan, develop a vision of what your company can become long term, and just take the plunge and don´t give up. Grab a paleta, smile and keep going!
PoPaLiCious Paletas: PoPaLiCious paletas are the new gourmet frozen dessert creating a big buzz in Dallas! These incredibly refreshing, flavor-packed delicacies combine top-quality ingredients like fruits, nuts, flowers and spices into a delicioso frozen dessert on a stick. Sure– they look like popsicles, but PoPaLiCious paletas are like no popsicle you’ve ever tasted! While paletas are often street food in Latin America, PoPaLiCious paletas have kicked it up a notch, representing high-end Mexican cuisine at its yummiest and most decadent. They’re perfect for everything from a cool snack to an unusual dessert for your next dinner party.
Not found in stores, you can get PoPaLiCious in Dallas over the Summertime! Place your order by emailing us at orders(at)mypopalicious(dot)com
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