The name La Michoacana is ubiquitous in Mexico. And though there’s various stories floating around about the brand’s beginnings, one thing is certain: the paleta brand got its start in Tocumbo, a Michoacan municipality. Rafael Malfavón is credited with starting a small paletería in Tocumbo, but Agustín Andrade and Ignacio Alcázar brought La Michoacana to the masses after the shops caught on in Mexico City, according to El Universal.
Eventually, Agustín and Ignacio developed a system where they facilitated the purchase of franchises, and La Michoacana grew exponentially in Mexico, and even in some immigrant communities in the United States. The name has basically become a stand-in for paletas. Unión Jalisco reports that there is no official count of how many Michoacanas exist, but some estimate there’s somewhere between 8,000 and 15,000 in Mexico.
While people in Mexico continue to enjoy the convenience of drip-down-your-hand paletas just about anywhere and anytime, people in the San Fernando Valley are lining up for more than 30 minutes to get a taste of La Michoacana. Within the last month, one popped up in San Fernando – albeit with a slightly different logo. On her blog Eat SCV, Lady Ducayne explained that her childhood visits to Mexico made her feel compelled to see what the U.S. shop had to offer. Apparently, others felt the same way.
“So, this version of La Michoacana that has two locations in the U.S., aims to get it right,” she wrote. “Their first location in Colton has been a hit, and already within a month or so of opening, the lines at the San Fernando location have been non stop. I tried to go there three times before managing to get in with only a 30-minute wait.”
Even on their Facebook page, La Michoacana has joked about the long wait times. But when you look at the pictures of the images, you can’t even blame people. (It also has a 4.5-star rating on Yelp.) Here’s a smattering of what San Fernando Valley’s La Michoacana is offering: