Signage Spotted for Morelia Gourmet Paletas: “A Unique and Personalized Ice Cream Experience”

morelia gourmet paletas

A certain stretch of First Avenue may be transforming into a hot spot for Latin American delicacies. Or it might just be one building.

Earlier this month, we wrote about the opening of Empanada Mama at 1435 First Avenue, and this week, we saw signage for Morelia Gourmet Paletas right next door (at the same address). The space was previously occupied by Fine Touch Klean Inc. Cleaners.


The story behind Morelia Gourmet Paletas is a sweet one. Long-time friends who were passionate about ice cream were dedicated to creating the best “ice cream experience.” When they were living in Brazil, they tried Mexican paletas for the first time. But what exactly is a paleta? Similar in appearance to a popsicle (though a bit bigger), it’s a frozen treat typically made from natural fresh fruits or from rich, creamy ingredients. Fruits, water, sugar, and other ingredients like yogurt, milk, or condensed milk are blended, then poured into a mold and chilled.

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Paletas are believed to have originated in Michoacán, Mexico (whose capital is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Morelia, hence the name), where people added fresh fruits to ice to cool down in the hot weather. Traditional Mexican paleta flavors include pineapple, passionfruit, coconut, lime, Belgian chocolate, and dulce de leche.

Morelia Gourmet Paletas upper east side

c/o Morelia Gourmet Paletas

When the friends first tried paletas, they instantly fell in love with them and made it their weekend routine to search for the perfect paleta. They tried hundreds but couldn’t find anything that was just right. Thus began their journey of making their own. They traveled around Brazil, Argentina, and Peru for trainings and set up a lab in one of their apartments. Their children were their first taste testers, and they smiled every time they tried one of their parents’ new creations.

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Inspired to take their paletas out of their apartment and into the world, the friends opened the first Morelia Gourmet Paletas in 2016 in Miami—a mecca of cultural diversity and year-round warm weather. Now with 16 locations across Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, Morelia’s forthcoming Upper East Side location will be their first foray into the Big Apple.

Morelia has three types of paleta flavors: fruity, creamy, and filled creamy. The fruity flavors, including strawberry, pineapple-mint, and mango, are vegan. The creamy flavors are made with either regular milk or vegan coconut milk and have a gelato-like texture. Some of the creamy flavors include cookies and cream with Oreo, Sicilian pistachio, and chocolate hazelnut. The filled creamy paletas are filled with ingredients like condensed milk, Nutella, and Reese’s peanut butter cups. You can also dip your paleta and add toppings, such as sprinkles or their signature s’mores, or eat your paleta as part of an ice cream sandwich or a waffle-wrapped burrito.

The sign at the First Avenue location had a QR code for hiring. We’ve reached out to Morelia for an estimated opening date and will provide updates as we learn more.

Buen prevecho!


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  1. t-bo June 29, 2024
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