Ice cream re-imagined with Morelia Gourmet Paletas

Ice cream now has a new look and meaning with Morelia Gourmet Paletas. This ice cream store introduces its community to paletas, a different type of ice pop common in Mexico. With a location in Boca Raton, customers can experience the unique twist to ice cream. Located on 125 Via Naranjas, Boca Raton, and administered by Jordan Krams, Morelia explores new worlds.

Photo by Gabriela Villamonte, Boca Raton Tribune

Krams who has worked alongside the Morelia creators for years administers and owns the Boca Raton location. For him, being the owner of a Morelia Gourmet Paletas store is something he didn’t expect to do. “I spent 10 years helping my childhood best friend build one of the country’s biggest health and beauty franchises,” states Kram. 

“At the end of those 10 years. He sold out the private equity. I decided to go private consulting different young franchises that excited me. Morelia was one of the brands that asked me to come in and help them develop their infrastructure, their systems, tools and resources and everything,” says Kram.  “I had never actually been on the franchisee side before as an owner, but just something about the brand and the model spoke to me and I liked it a lot and I decided I wanted to open one up just to see what happens.”

With tremendous experience in business and franchising, Kram was able to open a Boca Raton location of the unique ice cream. What drew him to Morelia was the connection he could have with the community. 

Photo by Gabriela Villamonte, Boca Raton Tribune

“It’s something that puts a smile on everyone’s face. Nobody is unhappy here, which is probably what I like the most. The worst thing that ever happens is someone says they don’t like their flavor of ice cream and then we trade it out for you. No questions asked. So it’s really nice. It’s a great environment,” says Kram. 

The origin of Morelia is just as heartwarming. Morelia Gourmet Paletas carry the South American culture to their product. It’s the heart and soul of what we’re all about. The company was founded by three friends, all from South America. They were actually out traveling, out visiting different countries in South America. And they saw this product and they just loved it and spoke to them,” says Kram.

“We want to keep that original Latin American and South American flavor. Hence the reason for our logo with the Catrina, the day of the dead, all the things that we do to try and kind of keep that field and make us unique.”

The name of the ice cream shop pays homage to the paleta’s Mexican roots as well. Morelia is the name of a city in Mexico and the logo also pays homage to Mexican roots. The Catrina is the most well-known symbol for the Day of the Dead, which is celebrated in Mexico. The Catrina is also the logo of Morelia’s. 

“The Catrina kind of speaks to a couple of different things. I think the biggest thing was about unity, and more about no matter what’s going on, on the outside, we’re all the same underneath. It’s the same kind of skeleton, the same kind of bones.”

This origin is not the only thing that makes Morelia’s unique, however. The making of their paletas is another way that they stand out. “Paletas are a Mexican-style ice bar. Primarily, it would be fruit-based. If you’re in Mexico, chances are you’re buying it out of a pushcart or someone just pushing down the street. And there are different fruit flavors, probably 30 or so, but they’re all fruit,” says Kram.

Photo by Gabriela Villamonte, Boca Raton Tribune

“When we came here to the United States, we wanted to keep that original feel, but also make it enticing to others outside of Latin American communities and kind of make it reach across to everyone.”

Flavor is a priority for these paleta owners. “When the founders saw this product elsewhere, they saw it, they loved it, but they understood that to be successful and to make your mark, you have to be different. So what they ended up doing was enrolling in basically every single dessert-making class there is,” says Kram. 

“They got their licenses and how to make gelato, how to make frozen yogurt, how to make standard ice cream, really understanding all the different types of frozen desserts and figuring out a way to make something that kind of encompasses a little bit of everything.”

This dedication for flavor shows in the various options Morelia has. “We have around 50 different recipes. They’re all proprietary, all created by us. And then we slowly rotate them out based on the demand that’s in. We do 16 flavors in-store, but usually what we do is a seasonal flavor. We’ll take one of the flavors and it’ll only come out for a couple of months. And then if it ends up being big, it may end up on the permanent roster.”

Morelia also relies on its staff to make all the ingredients by hand or by scratch. Freshness and flavor are some of the main goals of Morelia’s. “All of our stuff is made 100% by hand. All the fixtures, the batters are all getting mixed by hand, we’re filling the molds by hand. Believe it or not, even the bars that have a filling are all done by hand. There’s a proprietary method we have on how we fill the bars. But, I think it’s the fact that we’re doing it from scratch with all-natural ingredients,” says Kram. 

Photo by Gabriela Villamonte, Boca Raton Tribune

“If you pull our nutritional guide, there’s no ingredient in any of our bars that you can’t pronounce. It’s all-natural. It’s very, very easy on you. But I think that that high quality, that homemade, high-quality ingredients is one of the things that sets us apart.”

Despite having such high-quality skills in the kitchen, Morelia Gourmet Paletas was not immune to the crisis of the pandemic. Like many businesses around them, the pandemic forced Morelia’s to take action. However, Kram decided to take action by giving back to the community. “I’ve done my best to try and get work or do as many different events or different things around the community,” says Kram. 

“We’ve done a lot of different events with some private schools, elementary schools, junior highs and even going all the way to FAU,” says Kram. “I think, being a positive force in the community, giving good quality places for people to go and also employing all students in the area. Everybody behind the counter either goes to high school at Boca High or they go to FAU or Lynn University.”

Kram and his store have also been delivering paletas to first responders during the pandemic. He didn’t just stop at first responders but has donated paletas to various places around the community. “I went to hospitals, I went to nursing homes. I went to fire stations. I went to a temporary army base. I went to an orphanage. Whatever we could do, however, we could get out there and make people smile and give them a treat is what we were doing.”

Being able to help the local community and show support is one of Kram’s favorite parts of the business. The connection with the customers is what Kram strives for. “I love standing behind their people. I think even more than standing behind them. I love bringing people in. That’s why they come in from the window. They’re standing there. They are kind of apprehensive, they don’t know. And giving a big smile, saying hello, waving them in,” says Kram. 

“Getting those people to come in and try the first time and then after they try and look at their face. It’s like, ‘oh, my God, this is amazing. We’re coming back.’ It just makes you feel good.”

Kram has big goals for Morelia. Intending to expand the vision of paletas, Kram looks for new locations. But it was not always easy for him. “The day I decided I wanted to transition from being a guy on the corporate side to being an actual owner, I honestly had no idea how I was going to accomplish it,” says Kram. 

Photo by Gabriela Villamonte, Boca Raton Tribune

“Just one day I woke up and said, you know what, I’m going to own one of these and I’m not sure how, but I will figure it out and it will happen. And it took a little bit of sweat, effort, elbow grease and all that. We are now sitting in the middle of my first store. That’s when we’re already looking at locations in Coral Springs, Weston, Delray Beach and West Palm.”

And that’s not where Kram’s goal for Morelia ends either. Kram talks about what he wants Morelia Gourmet Paletas to be known for. Specifically for his store, Kram says “I just want them to think it’s a great place to hang out at a fun place with a nice, caring staff behind the counter who serve amazing desserts and not too much for. And it’s a good thing to feel.”

With plans of expanding and growing, Kram also has advice for those who want to enter into the restaurant business. “You have to be bold enough or brave enough to be willing to take that opportunity with things. I had a lot of people who said, ‘oh, you’re going to open a restaurant and you’re going to open this or you’re crazy.’ I  know this is going to work, I believe in it, and there’s a lot more space available out there right now. You just kind of have to have a little bit of faith, you know, that things will work themselves out.”

Morelia Gourmet Paleta is another example of a local business that depends on community support to remain strong. Even though the store has its origins in Miami, Florida, the Boca Raton location has its charm. The Morelia of Boca Raton has the character, charm and care for its local community and local customers. Without the support of those people, Morelia could not succeed. Don’t forget to support local restaurants and small businesses. 

About the Author

- Lauren is a junior at Nova Southeastern University who is studying Communications, Creative Writing, and Strategic Communications. In her free time, she loves to go to the beach and writing what's on her mind.

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