Tequila ice cream?
La Michoacána Ice Cream Shop on West Adams is home to Mexican-style ice creams and treats, and yes, they have tequila ice cream! Plus: A local Facebook group reunites lost pets with families.
FRIDAY DECEMBER 10, 2021 PART ONE of TWO
“We use less sugar and more real fruit in our ice creams — not fruit flavoring. We also add a whole lot of love.”
La Michoacána Ice Cream Shop owners Clara Arroyo and Gricelda Hernandez show off a couple of products they make at the West Adams business. Clara is holding a creamy ice pop with slices of mango and strawberry inside. At right, Gricelda has a monster-sized sugar cone with a scoop of chocolate underneath a mound of strawberry ice cream. David Stone | Our Town Temple
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Placing an order at La Michoacána Ice Cream Shop can be a little daunting. Not so much because of the language barrier — the friendly owners speak very little English — but because there are so many different flavors.
“We have 24 flavors of ice cream and about 54 flavors of ice pops (similar to Popsicles) —and they are all made right here,” Gricelda Hernandez said through her son, Carlos Arroyo, who served as translator during Wednesday’s interview.
“Our products don’t contain near as much sugar as American styles of ice cream and frozen treats,” she said. “We use less sugar and more real fruit — not fruit flavoring. We also add a whole lot of love.”
Hernandez and her sister, Clara Arroyo, have been making frozen goodies at 2808 West Adams for almost three years, and this is their first foray into the dessert business.
“I’ve always loved selling stuff,” she said. “When I was younger, I sold Mary Kay. I came here from Mexico about 20 years ago, and I started selling cosmetics. I also like to help others get started in business.”
La Michoacána makes traditional ice cream favorites such as cookies and cream and chocolate, but the sisters also create some pretty different concoctions.
“If you come in here with a crazy idea, these two will make it for you,” Carlos said. “They are very creative.”
Indeed they are. A love for Nutella nut spread led to a Nutella ice cream, and their blackberry cheesecake also is a huge seller. But, they have one ice cream that everyone wants to try — tequila. Smooth and not overbearing, but I did have the urge to salt-up a cone! Good stuff — I’ll be back for more.
La Michoacána’s colorful ice-pop selection fills two large slide-top freezers and each pop is individually wrapped in a clear plastic so you can easily see what’s inside. Many of the pops contain fruit slices such as kiwi and strawberry, plus there are mango and watermelon variations.
“There is real fruit in each pop,” Clara said. “We sliced the fruit and make each pop ourselves.”
In addition to ice cream in a sugar cone or a bowl, and the ice pops, the shop also sells homemade yogurts, milk shakes and flavored waters.
“We also make a variety of sundae’s, banana splits, strawberries and cream, and smoothies,” Gricelda added.
While the desserts may be the main course at La Michoacána Ice Cream Shop, other traditional Mexican treats are available. Some — corn-in-a-cup, for instance — smelled amazing.
“Corn-in-a-cup contains mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, maybe some sour cream, and of course, corn,” said a wide-eyed Carlos. “It’s very good, and they sell a lot of them.”
OK, so on my next visit its definitely corn-in-a-cup and tequila ice cream!
“There’’s a lot more,” Gricelda said. “Another very popular treat is Dorilocos — it’s made with Doritos, fruit, peanuts, pork skin and a chamoy sauce.”
All mixed together?
“Of Course! We also sell crepes. We can add bananas, strawberries and whipped cream,” she said.
Another creation is Tosti Locos, which consists of a bag of chips — any chip will work — with hot queso, pork skins and avocados mixed in. It’s kind of like an exotic variation of Frito pie.
So what’s next for La Michoacána?
“Well,” Gricelda said slowly, obviously giving the question a lot of thought, “maybe in the future, if God grants us health and wealth, we would like to expand.”
Since 2012, the Facebook group Central Texas Lost & Found Pets has reunited 7,282 pets with their families.
Kode, a mini Australian Shepard, was reunited with his human, Parker East, after being gone for 15 months. A member of the Facebook group Central Texas Lost & Found Pets posted a photo of Kode after the pup showed up at their residence.
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
In Central Texas, pet owners don’t have far to go to find help in locating lost animals — assistance is just a Facebook post away.
Waco resident Tiffany Green founded Central Texas Lost & Found Pets in 2012, and since that time the Facebook group has reunited 7,282 pets with their families.
“We started with just a handful of followers,” said Debbie Donnell of Temple, one of 10 administrators for the group. “As of this morning, we had more than 57,000 members.
The group works with shelters, rescues and other social media groups to help locate animals who have gone missing.
“We cover seven counties, that’s why we have so many administrators,” Donnell explained. “Our members live in Bell, McLennan, Coryell, Limestone, Hill, Bosque and Falls counties. That’s a big area.”
According to Donnell, when a pet goes missing, the owner posts a description and usually a photo of the animal. Then the system goes to work.
“Our members are notified, and we share the information with each other, as well as shelters and rescues in the area,” she said. “If someone sees an animal matching the description, they try to hold the animal or post the location on Facebook.”
A similar protocol is used when a stray animal shows up at someone’s home or is found on the side of a road.
“Again, we post a description of the animal and any identifiable markings, collar information, anything that might help identify the animal,” Donnell said. “Again, that post is shared.”
Central Texas Lost & Found Pets has about 65 members who serve as volunteer scanners.
“We’re volunteers, and we go out whenever and wherever we are needed,” she said. “We scan the animal to see if it’s chipped. If it is, we can search a database to find its owner.”
While dogs and cats are by far the most common animals on the lost and found site, the group will help search for any missing critter.
“Dogs and cats are the most popular, that’s true,” Donnell said. “But we also look for horses, goats, you name it. I’ve even chipped a turtle.”
Central Texas Lost & Found Pets conducts low-cost chipping options to expensive veterinary services and frequently holds events throughout the seven-county area.
“We have seven volunteers who chip animals using SmartTags,” she said. “We partner with places like Temple and Bell County animal shelters, and sometimes we have clinics at Temple and Belton Feed & Seed stores.”
If a person can’t bring a pet to a chipping event, the volunteers go on the road.
“We have a wonderful group of volunteers who go out at all hours,” she said.
If a lost pet’s owners can’t be located, the group tries to put that animal in a foster home until a “forever” home can be found, Donnell explained.
“But we need more fosters,” she said. “That way we can keep animals out of shelters — they are so overcrowded as it is.”
Donnell applauded the city of Temple for its animal shelter expansion plans. The project will start in 2022 and will double the size of the current facility.
“That expansion is going to be a great thing,” she said.
The efforts of Central Texas Lost & Found Pets doesn’t end with locating missing pets and finding them temporary homes if owners can’t be located. If a found animal is sexually intact, they group will have it spayed or neutered.
“That’s all paid for with donations,” she said. “The donations don’t go to us, they go directly to our veterinarians.”
Donnell said Dr. Gary Gosney and his staff have been gracious enough to set up an account at his Temple clinic where donors can send money to help pay for procedures.
“People are amazing. They keep watching the site and looking out for pets running loose. Together we will keep putting families back together.”
Holiday Market & Food Truck Frenzy are Saturday in City Hall parking lot
Our Town Temple
About 23 food trucks, 75 vendors and thousands of Christmas shoppers are expected downtown Saturday for Holiday Market & Food Truck Frenzy.
Holiday Market will also feature music to shop and snack by, including a 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. performance by the popular Central Texas band Martian Folk. Also, a group of carolers from Temple’s Academie Musique will be making the rounds about 6 p.m.
A bouncy house will be available for children and kids at heart, and the city’s Christmas tree and downtown lights will be lit up.
Those participating in the Food Truck Frenzy include Lupita’s Mexican Food, Sweet Enough Cookies, High 5 Hot Dogs, Flexin’ Texan, Texas Style BBQ, Check Point Germany, Lulamae’s Cajun Cuisine, Funnel Cake Fantasies, Cupcake Avenue and Icy Hot Baby.
Also: The Hangry Girl, Kona Ice, Cajun Cauldron, Munchie Monster, The Gut Truck, La Familia’s Rolling Restaurant, Granddaddy’s Food Truck, Rollin N The Dough, Chock Full of Cheese, Lowe’s Legs, Big Gun BBQ, Coney’s Bur-Gour-Met and Lone Star Burgers.
Crunch renovations begin in early 2022
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
A new Crunch Fitness will be coming to Temple but not in time for starting New Year’s fitness and weight-loss goals.
Crunch will be located at the former Town & Country Mall location in the building previously occupied by Gold’s Gym.
“We plan on getting our construction crew in there during the first quarter of 2022,” said Brooke Chavez, marketing officer for the Crunch franchise. “There’s a lot of renovation to do — Crunch Fitness Temple will be seven gyms in one.”
Although Chavez didn’t give a target date for completion, she did say the gym should be operational by mid-2022. Once open, Crunch will employ more than 100 people including personal trainers, customer service workers, a sanitizing staff, maintenance and babysitters.
The Temple location will be the group’s eighth gym, and according to Chavez, 50 more facilities will open within three years.
“Crunch is like no other gym,” she said. “It’s all about entertainment — we blend fitness with fun.”
The gym will include an area Chavez called “miles and miles of cardio,” while will include more than 100 treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and other equipment designed to get the heart racing, and some recumbent equipment.
Crunch Fitness Temple also will have an area for weight lifting, a Ride cycling studio, a group fitness area, a kids area with a staffed baby sitter and a HIIT Zone for high-intensity interval training.
“The HIIT Zone is a 45-minute class that consists of cardio, weight training and body-weight exercises,” Chavez said. “You will continue to burn calories for hours after you finish your workout.”
Chavez said Crunch will offer more than 60 classes a week, including some that are designed for older folks.
The gym also will include sun tan booths, a massage chair area and a small retail shop that sells water and workout drinks.
Chavez said the Temple gym will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will always be staffed.
“Our rates will start at $9.99 a month and that includes the cardio and weight areas,” she said. “We have different levels of memberships. A membership with cardio, weights and classes will be less than $25 a month, and full unlimited access will be less than $30.”