Two young Caborrojeños, Jahn Vargas González and Alondra Valentín López, created a concept that, although it is a delight to the palate of each client, it also represents the opportunity to pamper each pet.
This is Del Trópico Acai & Frappé, a “food truck” where they sell a wide variety of flavors of frappés, as well as ice cream popsicles for dogs.
“Before opening the business, I told Alondra that we should have a ‘pet friendly’ option since there isn’t one here in Cabo Rojo. In this town there are many ‘pet lovers’ and you always have to have an option for people who like to go out with their pets. They come, they ask for frappé and they buy their ice cream popsicle for the pet,” said the young man who holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Pontifical Catholic University of Mayagüez.
The popsicles are prepared based on water and natural fruit, without using ‘heavy cream’, or milk, or any other ingredient that is an allergen for animals.
“Everything based on water and fruits. No syrup is used. Every week they are made different: berry, strawberry yogurt, strawberry alone or banana peanut butter. The most sold is the berry. I sell every day. Weekly I sell about 25 between the six days that I operate in the week”, said this young entrepreneur.
During Somos Puerto Rico’s visit, we met “Happy,” a dog recently adopted by José Antonio Rivera Zapata, who was enjoying her footprint-shaped strawberry popsicle.
“The flavor they like the most is red (cherry); Sometimes I come with all three, but I get a stir, so I alternate them. Lots of people come here with their dogs. In Cabo Rojo there are almost no places to be with dogs. I like to go out with my dogs everywhere, but not everywhere they let you be with the dogs,” said Rivera Zapata.
“I already have a fixed clientele who come asking: do you have popsicles?, and they go down to buy. Sometimes they don’t buy frappé, but they do buy popsicles for their pets. The most that come are people with dogs; one or the other has come with cats, but they don’t react the same. The dogs love them, ”said the owner who, at 19, has experience in the restaurant industry.
Del Trópico Acai & Frappé is the name that identifies this innovative concept, its strength being the variety of frappés it offers, in addition to the flavor and consistency in its preparation that satisfies the need to cool off on a hot day.
“I come from the restaurant industry and I saw the announcement that they were selling the cart, it was not in that condition. We take between five to six months between restoration and permits. I started in February with a few flavors in what we were learning about the business and then I added some new flavors. Every week I bring new flavors, but I’ll put up with it until I find a bigger cart, and this one is too small for me,” said the young man who assures that the location on the PR-100 highway has contributed to the success of this concept.
Although it has a wide list of flavors, Ferrero and Nutella are the most requested; without leaving behind the flavor of mixed fruits and piña coladas, “which are sold as if they were given away,” she said with a bit of humor while preparing a lemonade, the new incursion of the house. “Our lemonade is different from other places; the coconut and the passion fruit we include the ice cream as if it were from the beach, the sorbet and people are crazy about it, ”she said.
For his part, Valentín López, who is the architect of the frappés recipe, attributes the success to “I feel that in addition to modifying the recipe is the charisma of customer service; that is something that symbolizes this business that since you arrive we make you feel at home; and that we have contributed to the need for places that include pets. We have an album of photos of the dogs that visit us”.