Biz Beat

Modesto’s newest ice cream shop serves vibrant Mexican and American treats

See inside Modesto’s new, vibrant Mexican ice cream parlor

La Michocana Plus has opened on Crows Landing Road in Modesto, CA. The ice cream shop serves Mexican and American sweet and savory treats.
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La Michocana Plus has opened on Crows Landing Road in Modesto, CA. The ice cream shop serves Mexican and American sweet and savory treats.

Going for ice cream is always a treat. Going for ice cream at Modesto’s new La Michoacana Plus is a full-body sensory experience.

You will be hard-pressed (or, more precisely, hard-scooped) to find a more colorful, lively ice cream parlor in the Central Valley. When you step into the new Crows Landing Road store, you’ll be greeted by a wave of bright pinks, yellows, greens — as if the decor was meant to match it’s equally vibrant treats.

The ice cream shop is named after a state in western Mexico that stretches from the Pacific Ocean to just north of Mexico City. Ice cream parlors and stands in Mexico frequently name themselves after the region because of its abundant sugar cane crop. So despite their similar names, the new Modesto shop isn’t associated with the locally produced La Michoacana frozen fruit pop brand that’s available at area retailers.

Instead, La Michoacana Plus offers an impressive selection of ice cream cones, ice pops, sundaes, banana splits, sweet and savory snacks, agua fresca drinks, fruit cups, nachos and more. In short, anyone with a sweet tooth, love of the spicy-sweet punch of chamoy (a Mexican condiment popular on fruit), or addicted to Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Takis should feel right at home.

“This is a little bit of Mexico in Modesto,” said La Michoacana Plus Operations Manager Manuel Gonzalez. “We take pride in our quality and our presentation.”

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Employee April Fuentes holds an assortment of paletas on Wednesday afternoon June 19, 2019 at La Michoacana Plus in Modesto, Calif. Joan Barnett Lee jlee@modbee.com

Just be prepared for options overload as the shop offers 105 different flavors of handmade ice pops and 40 different ice cream flavors. The menu is filled, front and back. But the friendly servers will be happy to walk you through the selections — in English or Spanish.

The paletas (cream- and agua fresca-based ice pops) in particular are showstoppers. You can get them in everything from watermelon to walnut, margarita (with a touch of tequila and lime slice frozen inside) to Oreo (with an Oreo cookie frozen inside).

Since opening June 1, the shop has already attracted a loyal following, with a number of repeat customers and more finding the shop each day. The chain has about a dozen U.S. locations, and recently started franchising more aggressively in California. While Modesto is the company’s farthest north property to date, other shops are planned in Sacramento, Fresno and Salinas soon.

“I like the feel of this shop,” said Karen Garcia of Modesto, who came with her mother for a mid-day snack this week. She has already been to the parlor a couple times, and has plans for many more this summer.

“I like the feel of it, and that is has such a variety of things,” she said. “Not a lot of ice cream shops are like this, are cultural like this.”

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Mother and daughter Nancy (left) and Karen Garcia enjoy their order on Wednesday afternoon June 19, 2019 at La Michoacana Plus in Modesto, Calif. Joan Barnett Lee jlee@modbee.com

Nestled in the same shopping complex as Cardenas Markets, the parlor’s walls are covered in Instagram-able murals (complete with hashtags showing love for Modesto). Vivid papel picado (multi-colored, paper cut-out flags) hang from the ceiling. And festive Mexican music serenades you as you make your selection.

So, as I was saying, we’ve got sight, smell, sound, taste and touch — well, at least once they hand you your ice cream — all covered in one sweet shop.

Find La Michoacana Plus at 1620 Crows Landing Road, Suite F, in Modesto. The shop is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information, call 951-379-8119 or visit www.michoacanaplus.com.

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Marijke Rowland writes about new business, restaurant and retail developments. She has been with The Modesto Bee since 1997 covering a variety of topics including arts and entertainment. Her Business Beat column runs midweek and Sundays. And it’s pronounced Mar-eye-ke.
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