The Tribune reports that our local Mexican ice cream shop has moved out of the Nipomo Vons Center because the owner could not afford the rent increase:
A snack shop featuring traditional Mexican ice creams owned by a young entrepreneur in Nipomo has closed.
La Auténtica Michoacana — which opened in May at 530 W. Tefft St. in the Vons shopping center — closed last week because owner Bernardino Echeverría couldn’t afford a recent rent increase of about $700 per month, he said.
Equipment and other items could be seen being moved out of the storefront into a moving truck Friday night.
Echeverría said he tried to negotiate a compromise on the raised rent, but the landlord wasn’t willing to budge. He’s currently looking for a location that’s more affordable.
“I really liked talking to the people and making ice cream here,” Echeverría said in Spanish. “We tried to negotiate, but the owner wasn’t willing to budge.”
The ice cream and ice favorites, called “paletas” in Spanish, cost between $1.50 and $2.50 and included such flavors as tamarindo (made from a tropical fruit), pepino con chile (cucumber with chile powder), cantaloupe, guava and chongo (cheese).
In all, the shop had about 60 flavors for its paletas — including traditional American favorites such as chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.
Echeverría — who also works in construction — comes from a line of ice cream producers. Family members own seven shops in California, including his sister Marta’s business in Paso Robles.
About 60 percent of customers were Hispanic and the rest were of other ethnicities, Echeverría told The Tribune in September.
“This type of store has a very strong tradition where I’m from in Mexico,” Echeverría said at the time. “In fact, there is a place called Tocumbo where they have a paleta fair and people bring paletas from all over to try. There is a lot of history with that.”
This is really too bad. There ice cream was very good. And, I’m not sure we have another ice cream shop in town at the moment. It’s always sad to see a local business leave. Hopefully he will find something less expensive and still be able to remain in Nipomo. One wonders whether the consequence a space without a rent paying tenant is worth the price of raising the rent.