The food handlers donned scarves over their hair, face masks over their mouths and noses, white coats over their clothing and gloves to cover their hands. Carefully, each poured a creamy mixture into a Popsicle mold that would be iced and later filled inside with a liquid complementary delicious flavor.
One recipe called for vanilla stuffed with Nutella, another for coconut with dulce de leche, yet another for strawberry with condensed milk. Sometimes, the recipe called for no filling at all or the creaminess of chocolate, cookies ‘n cream or berry yogurt. A total of 14 flavors, with more currently in taste-testing, came to fruition.
This is just a glimpse of the iced desserts that are created at the Northwest Miami-Dade factory of Master Paletas, manufacturers of handmade gourmet ice pops. Only natural premium ingredients are used. The company is doing so well that executives are looking for a larger warehouse to triple its production. From the very inception of the business, Michele and Francisco Garcia sought the help of the Small Business Development Center at FIU.
The expert consultants at the Florida SBDC at FIU helped the Garcias with market research, development of a business plan, finding a warehouse for the factory, permitting and licensing. SBDC at FIU also guided the Garcias as they negotiated with investors for capital funding. Because the Garcias are immigrants from Brazil, they also had to obtain work permits from the federal government.
“At first, we thought the SBDC only worked with citizens, but we learned it was so much more,” Michele Garcia said. “They helped us in so many aspects. We just had a dream and a project, and we wanted to conquer the world.”
Read the full story at BizNews.fiu.edu.