06/26/2015 4:06 PM
Andrew Morales, marketing assistant for Paleterias Tropicana, and his daughter Gabby Morales next to the Tropicana stand at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. (Photo by Elizabeth Orosco.)
By: ELIZABETH OROSCO
Are you looking for a great treat during a hot game at CommunityAmerica Ballpark? Paleterias Tropicana might be the answer. Located in the lime green ice cream stand on the concourse behind home plate, Paleterias Tropicana offers T-Bones fans a variety of authentic Mexican ice cream, a flavor different from anything else offered at the ballpark.
Tropicana, which began selling its fruit bars at the ballpark on June 1, is a family-owned business that opened its doors in Kansas City during the summer of 2004 with a single concept: to serve homemade, authentic Mexican ice cream to a growing Hispanic market.
Jose Luis Valdez, co-founder and CEO of Paleterias Tropicana, got his first job at 7 years old, selling paletas on the streets of Mexico City. He now owns three stores in the Kansas City area and one partnership store in Wichita, Kan. He operates the business with his wife Lucia and daughter Jennifer.
In 2008, Tropicana was awarded the Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award, Hispanic Economic Development Corporation Micro Business of the Year award in 2012, and State of Kansas Minority Retail Business of the Year award in 2013.
“This is our first year here [with the T-Bones] and we are going to see what it brings,” said Andrew Morales, marketing assistant for Paleterias Tropicana.
There are three Paleterias Tropicana locations in the Kansas City area, in parts of the city with a predominately Latino population. The original store is located on Southwest Boulevard, the others in the Prescott Plaza and on Santa Fe in Olathe.
“When you think about Tropicana,” Morales said, “you see that it caters more to the growing Hispanic communities. Here, we have a rural Kansas population and a different demographic.”
Morales says he is excited to showcase Tropicana’s product to T-Bones fans who might not be familiar with the quality, homemade ice cream.
“I think baseball and paletas just go well together,” Morales said. “It’s summertime, it’s hot and it’s a perfect mix.”