About halfway between Novato's two downtown ice cream shops — Powell's and Baskin-Robbins — a new scoop haven will open up this summer on Grant Avenue, but it'll be a lot different from the others.
La Michoacana Natural Ice Cream will follow traditional recipes from Mexico and offer a few twists to the typical ice cream menu, said shop owner Teresita Fernandez. The shop will occupy a spot most recently home to Wise Buys resale store and, a while back, Marin Hydroponics.
"If you look at the demographics, Novato has a pretty large Hispanic community, especially in the area I'll be in," Fernandez said. "I'll be near a couple of markets and eateries, and it will be nice fit. This is why I'm excited about Grant Avenue — because I'll be able to reach both the Hispanic community and everyone else."
Fernandez, a native of the Michoacan state in Mexico, comes from a family of ice cream makers who have been honing the craft since the 1940s. She opened a La Michoacana Natural Ice Cream shop near the Fairmont Mission Inn and Spa in Sonoma about three years ago and lives in Sonoma. The Sonoma shop was recently mentioned in a New York Times story about the best places for visitors to stop in Sonoma County.
"We've been really well received there and earned some really nice awards," she said.
La Michoacana makes rich, creamy ice cream, sorbet, frogurt, frozen dipped bananas, fruit cups and other tropical treats. She plans to bring the goods over to Novato from a small plant in Sonoma.
Fernandez recently signed a lease and is busy designing the interior of the shop. She said she'll have three or four employees by the time the shop opens this summer, just in time for prime ice-cream-eating weather.
"The Hispanics will embrace it right away, but I think it will add something exciting to the community," she said.
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