From left, Janet and Meshaila De La O, Santiago Morales and Abril Garcia outside La Tapatia Ice Cream Shop on Sept. 11, 2023.
Photo by Scott Neuffer.
Carson City resident Abril Garcia can remember a kind of magic in being a little girl in Guadalajara, Mexico, and eating an ice pop.
“Guava,” she recalled. “That was one of my favorites.”
Years of growing up in Mexico, emigrating, living and working in Anchorage, Alaska, then settling in Carson City circa 2016 all commingled during an interview in north Carson on Monday.
“When I was a little girl, I loved to eat the ice popsicles,” Garcia said. “That was my favorite treat. In Mexico, it’s really popular. You go in the afternoon, evening, buy your ice popsicle.”
Garcia, husband Franco Morales and children Santiago, Alan and Alohi, opened La Tapatia Ice Cream Shop off Winnie Lane on Aug. 26. Since coming to Carson, Garcia has worked as a parent advocate for the Carson City School District, while her husband has worked in construction. In opening the new shop, Garcia said she wants to share a special experience from childhood.
“That was kind of like my dream,” she said. “I would like to have something that brings me happiness here, to share it with families over here. And I am so proud of my team. This is not something I did by myself. But these couple of days that we’ve been open, other families get together, and they tell me, what do they say? ‘Oh, you guys transport me to Mexico with these flavors.’”
The name of the store means an inhabitant of Guadalajara on the western side of Mexico. In the same tradition of that region, and with input from Garcia’s parents, the store offers popsicles, ice cream and agua frescas — all homemade. The most popular flavors have been Gansito (made with the Mexican snack), Oreo and “anything with mango,” Garcia said. The shop has a party room and two ice cream carts that can cater parties.
It would be a mistake to assume the shop is only for children. Adults will find corn sides, nachos and crepes on the menu.
“Because in our culture, there are a lot of snacks,” Garcia said. “We are people like … I mean, we try to eat healthy… but in the evenings: ‘Let’s go grab a snack.’”
Garcia said she wants Carson City’s Latino community to embrace the shop. Roughly a quarter of the city’s population is Hispanic or Latino, according to the U.S. Census. She said like her, many customers are reminded of Mexico tasting the treats.
“They make me feel so happy,” she said.
At the same time, Garcia wants to welcome all residents.
“We want to have everybody,” she said. “I want you guys to feel comfortable. I try to put the menu bilingual …. that you feel welcome here.”
Garcia said her family is active in the St. Teresa community in Carson, which has spread the word about the new business. With fall school sports in swing, the shop has seen athletes and cheerleaders after games as well.
“It was really nice to see,” Garcia said.
A grand opening for the ice cream shop is scheduled for 4 p.m. Oct. 11. La Tapatia is located at 200 E. Winne Lane. Business hours are 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily.