Local business keeps community cool this summer with cultural flair

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Ice cream isn’t just a sweet treat for Yesenia Vega to enjoy. It’s a big part of her life. 

Vega and her husband, Carlos moved to central Illinois from Chicago ten years ago. In 2017, they opened Palarte Mexican Ice Cream in Peoria.

“We were always looking for ice cream—Mexican ice cream and we couldn’t find something similar to it,” said Vega.

The pair make the Mexican ice cream fresh with colorful fruits and natural ingredients. You’ll even find some non-traditional ice cream flavors like avocado, non-alcoholic tequila and even queso.

“And we get some people that say, ‘Queso? Oh no way!’ And then they try it and say ‘I’ll take a scoop,” she said. “It’s just like having an option for everyone to come out of their comfort zone of just regular ice cream.”

You’ll see a glimpse of Vega’s Mexican culture on the walls of Palarte and infused in the ice cream flavors. She was born in Mexico and her husband frequently goes back to take classes on flavor mixing techniques.

“We love talking to people about our culture. They love coming hear and asking questions about where we come from, why we do it. And we just love having the conversation,” said Vega.


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