How to Start a Paleta Business

In this post, we discuss how to start a paleta business. Starting a paleta business is not as difficult as it sounds and has many benefits.

There are many paleta flavors to choose from and no two batches will be made the same. ‍

Before you set out on this path, read our tips for starting your own paleta business. It is hard work, for sure, but the tasty fruits of your labor will define your hard work in the end.

Although you can always start small and make your business grow from there, having a business plan is the best way to get started.

A paleta is traditionally made with fruit, milk or water, sugar, and various flavorings such as nutmeg or vanilla extract. The mix is poured into a wooden or plastic paleta stick (popsicle stick), which is inserted in the middle of a large block of ice.

By hand, the ice is carved into a large block and the sticks are inserted in the center. The result is a cold, frozen treat with fruit pulp at the ends of each stick.

Paletas are available in various flavors throughout Mexico and other Latin American countries. Some examples are guanábana, horchata, piña (pineapple), tamarindo, coconut, watermelon and lime.

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How to Start a Paleta Business

How to Start a Paleta Business
How to Start a Paleta Business

Step1: Buying Paleta Molds

The first thing you’ll need to make paletas is a mold. There are plenty of options out there so feel free to look around and find one that’s just right for you. A paleta mold has to be able to fit two paletas at a time so it will be thicker and typically have a deeper bowl.

It should also have the correct size cavities so that you don’t run into any problems when it comes to the filling process. It can also be made with silicone so that you won’t get a mold rash.

Step2: Getting Your Paletas Ready

First of all, you need to choose the type of fruit that you want to use in your paletas. This is going to define the paleta business that you’re setting up as well as how much fruit you’re going to have to use. Fruits like mangoes and pineapples are not only more popular but more expensive.

In fact, strawberries actually have a lighter taste than other fruits because of their natural sugars and lack of acidity. Some fruits are also seasonal so you’re going to need a way to get fruits from your local farmers.

Step3: Getting Your Paletas Out There

If you’re making paletas in your home, you’re going to need a way to sell them. You can find a community that would allow you to sell them on their lawn for example or set up one of your own.

You’ll also need some kind of packaging that will allow you to make sure the paletas are getting around safely. You can always make this at home or try and find something that suits your needs without having to spend hundreds of dollars.

Step4: Making Money

Even with all of these things taken care of, you’re not going to be raking in the big bucks so far. The per-paleta price will always be lower. Some paletas start at $2 for a pineapple one and $8 for a mango one but most start at $2.50-3 per paleta.

The price of the fruits will also determine how much money you will make. A total of 10 paletas will only cost you $25.50 to make and that’s including your time. If a single paleta can bring in $8 per day, that’s a really good thing.

Step5: Do It Right

Finally, you need to put everything together and make sure that it works for you. If you’re filling the mangoes with too much sugar or the fruit isn’t ripe enough, then your paletas won’t turn outright. You can also make the prices higher for these paletas to maximize your profits.

How to Make Paletas

  • Freeze water and sugar in ice cubes and store them in airtight containers.
  • Make one batch of two cups of fruit juice per freezer pack of ice cubes available for use, adjusting the amount accordingly for the desired flavor and consistency type (ie. more or less sugar). For best results, freeze the fruit juice before making paletas, using about half a cup per three cups of fresh juice to keep it from separating when frozen.
  • Using a stick blender, combine the fruit juice with the ice cubes in a blender, and then blend until smooth.
  • Add any fresh fruit or other ingredients to the blender, such as lime popsicles, almond extract, or mint leaves for a mint mojito paleta.
  • Store the blended mixture in airtight containers in the freezer until ready to use. When ready to make paletas, remove the air from the popsicle molds and insert wooden sticks. Pour the blended mixture into popsicle molds and then place in the freezer for at least eight hours, or until solid.
  • To serve, simply pop the paletas out of their molds and enjoy! Firmly wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer bag until ready to eat.
  • The process takes longer if you are not using commercial ice cubes.

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Tips on How to Start a Paleta Business

  • The key to making great fruit popcicles is all in the base, which should be at least 50% fruit juice and 50% water. You want the popsicles to be smooth and not too icy.
  • You need to avoid using those popscicle sticks that are hard plastic with a metal tip, they do not make a good base. The popsicle will stick to the plastic and there is no way of popping it out without breaking the mold. Try using right away or making them when you retire for the night or when you have time during the day.
  • Place your molds in a pan of water, this will keep them from cracking when you remove them from the freezer.
  • The fruit juice should be diluted in a 1:1 ratio of water; but orange and grape juice can be diluted to a 2:1 ratio.
  • When storing your popsicles make sure the place is relatively dry, especially in humid weather. Otherwise you will have sticky, messy popsicles that are impossible to handle and eat.
  • You can make up to three flavors per mold if you want to mix it up a bit. Prepare the base as instructed above and mix your chosen flavors with different fruits. For example, you could use lemon, lime and mint together.
  • Use a spoon to place the popsicle sticks in the molds before adding the liquid mixture. Do not over fill, otherwise the popsicles will stick to the mold when they freeze.
  • By using a popsicle maker you can freeze up to 12 of them at a time. This way you are sure that there is enough on hand as well as in your freezer when customers come by.
  • You can make your popsicles in advance and freeze them. You can create your own flavors, or you can buy ready-made ones.
  • Be sure to take the popsicles out of the freezer section of your freezer at least one hour before eating as instructed above. If you leave them in for longer, they may be unpleasant to eat due to freezer burn.
  • The process should take no more than 10 minutes from start to finish if you follow instructions and practice makes perfect.
  • Commercial popsicle makers are available in most department stores or kitchen supply stores in Mexico. They can also be ordered from the US and will be delivered to your door within a week.
  • To make popsicles, you can use any kind of juice and water; however, it is recommended that you use diluted juice so that the ingredients do not freeze too hard.
  • Always use clean molds so as not to form bacteria and make your popsicle last longer.
  • If you are using plastic molds, try baking them beforehand to avoid melting.
  • It is best to use wooden molds as they do not melt and do not get sticky from the juice.
  • You can make 3 different flavors per mold – mix and match them to create new flavors.
  • Try using different kinds of fruits like mango, pineapple, strawberry, orange…the options are endless!
  • You can also use herbs for popsicles; for example, you could add thyme or sage flavor to your popsicle. Make sure you pick the leaves and not the flowers, though.
  • To keep your popsicles from melting, freeze them in a single layer on a tray overnight before putting them in the box or another container to store them. This process should take no more than 10 minutes.

Paleta Machine

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