LOS ANGELES, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Though frozen fruit bars (known in Mexico as "paletas") have been available for some time, this traditional dessert did not exist in the United States in a high quality form. That is, not until Palapa Azul introduced their premium line of frozen fruit bars made with fresh fruits and vegetables and in unique ethnic flavors.
Palapa Azul founders Roni Goldberg and Michel Algazi, both born in Mexico, grew up enjoying childhood treats with flavors ranging from fruity and spicy to very rich, like "Cajeta," a thick, luscious goat's milk caramel typically enjoyed on a "maria" cookie, a crispy wafer popular in Mexico. On cold nights, perhaps hot chocolate was carefully made by whisking, with a "molinillo," warm milk over round tablets of dark chocolate laced with cinnamon.
It was these memories that led Michel and Roni to co-found Palapa Azul in 2002. After establishing the company, the founders hit the streets of Los Angeles, conducting market research to come up with a name and positioning for a new brand, as well as to gauge consumer reactions to certain ethnic flavors.
The first creations from Palapa Azul were "paletas" (frozen fruit bars). As children in Mexico City, Roni and Michel both enjoyed going to the fruit stands, scattered throughout the city, treating themselves to sliced fruits and vegetables, sprinkled with lime, salt and chile. For their own product, the partners decided to use a similar combination of fresh fruits, vegetables and spices. They first tested these flavors at Los Angeles area farmers markets over two consecutive summers.
The first full line of fresh fruit bars was launched at the Fancy Food Show in January 2004. Flavors included cucumber with chile, mango with chile, Mexican papaya, strawberry, mango, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapefruit and pineapple. The product was such a hit that it was named "Best of Show" by several top retailers and media outlets. The new line was promptly picked up by Whole Foods, which now carries it at most of its West Coast stores. As of May, 2005, distribution of the bars will reach the East Coast and Midwest, where several top retailers like Whole Foods and Balducci's will carry the line.
With the success of the frozen fruit bars and the popularity of ethnic Mexican food on the rise among both Hispanic and non-Hispanic consumers, Palapa Azul developed and will introduce to consumers in June 2005, ice creams ("helados") and sorbets ("nieves"). The ice cream line includes flavors such as sweet corn, "cajeta" (Mexican goat's milk caramel) with cookies, flan and Mexican chocolate. Sorbet flavors include jamaica (hibiscus flower), coconut and mango. All Whole Foods Markets on the West Coast will carry the ice creams and sorbets beginning June 15th. Retailers such as PCC Markets, Andronico's, Mollie Stones and many others have already expressed intent to carry the line.
About Palapa Azul(TM)
Founded by Michel Algazi and Roni Goldberg in 2002 with offices in Los Angeles and distribution on both East and West Coasts. Palapa Azul is focused on becoming the leader in the U.S. for unique premium Mexican-style frozen desserts with an emphasis on product quality and customer satisfaction. All products are made in the U.S. For more information, please visit http://www.palapaazul.com/, call 888.570.0099 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For all press information, please contact Darren Jordan at 323.851.5572 or email@example.com. Palapa Azul
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