From San Javier, Sinaloa to the world: The legacy of Juanita Tolosa lives on in 26 flavors of Helados del Pueblo


Its flavor, one hundred percent fruit and its artisanal process, is what differentiates the company that was born in a small town in San Ignacio, thanks to Juanita Tolosa.

San Ignacio, Sinaloa. – Talking about San Javier, San Ignacio, beyond the beauty of this small place, is without a doubt talking about Juanita Tolosa Esquivel, that woman who had the dream of packing spices, but who by chance began with the sale of pens vanilla, strawberry milk and chocolate.

In the ’70s, narrates her son Alberto Torrero Tolosa, his mother had the vision of giving the town something to enjoy and found it in ice cream, without waiting for what was leaving this community, which later became fruit popsicles, and although time has allowed innovation with 26 different flavors, they retain their originality and craft process. 

“In the 70’s it was when Helados del Pueblo was born, in the hands of my mother for starting something new, although she said she wanted to start a spice factory, but she was given more ice cream later.

“The flavor is given by the fruit, nothing else, it is not given by a colorant, a flavoring, the flavor is given, the popsicle is strawberry because the flavor is given by the strawberry that we add to it.” 

To preserve the unique flavor that Juanita imprinted on her popsicles, Alberto says that the best quality fruit and already established varieties are selected, so that, when it comes to becoming an ice popsicle, it does not lose consistency or that traditional flavor, that has made people love the Ice Cream of the People.

The process, as mentioned, is handmade, although some machines have already been included that help to manufacture the popsicles, especially since up to 70,000 popsicles can be made per day, to be distributed in the 2,358 points of sale. , between convenience stores, small shops or supermarkets.  

In the northwest of the country, coverage is in cities such as La Paz, Los Cabos, and Mexicali, on the side of Baja California Sur and Baja California; in Sonora, there is a presence in Hermosillo, Navojoa, and Ciudad Obregón; Also in Jalisco, the popsicles have been taken to Zapopan, and of course, in the 18 municipalities of Sinaloa.

The elaboration process consists mainly of choosing the fruit, doing the squeezing or peeling process, to later removing the syrup mixed with water or milk, and passing through several filters before being poured into the molds, where the sticks are placed before freezing 

Already in the mold, after 30 minutes the popsicle is already done, ready to go to the labeling area, to later be packed, identified by labels, and placed in freezers, before going to the distribution store or ice cream parlor. 

There are 26 flavors of Helados del Pueblo popsicles, including the traditional vanilla, strawberry with milk, tamarind, chocolate, cappuccino, pineapple with milk, guava with milk, soursop and soursop with milk, as well as rice, jamaica, lemon, as well as two traditional flavors of the region, orange and pitahaya, a typical fruit from San Ignacio. 

For 2027, Alberto Torrero comments that there is a project to expand with the opening of a new factory, which could be within the same municipality or in Culiacán, to support and position itself more in the northwest area, because he said, there are still many points to open. 

This is the legacy of that young woman who one day sold pens without thinking that she would become a woman with a business vision and would leave a great legacy in her history, today, almost two years after her death, on August 11, 2020, Juanita Tolosa Esquivel lives in the memory of her relatives and in the palates of those who enjoy the famous Ice Cream of the Town every day.


The Mazatlan Post