Serving up sprinkle-festooned, hand-dipped paletas, colorful ice cream & concha concoctions, and other drool-worthy desserts, Gourmeletas lives up to its name. The mobile cart and catering service adds a gourmet touch to the paleta experience, and the resulting desserts taste just as good as they look.
Amy and Tomas Carballo are the husband and wife duo behind these desserts, which have been popping up all over LA. In under than two years, they’ve grown a thriving business from scratch, leveraging the power of Instagram and their experience in the catering industry to create a company that elevates the traditional desserts they grew up eating.
We caught up with the couple to learn more about their entrepreneurial journey, and what’s next for Gourmeletas.
What is your background and what were you doing before you decided to start a business?
Tomas grew up in the restaurant world, managing and co-owning his family’s pizza restaurants. Before we decided to start our own business, both Tomas and I were working for a catering company.
How did you learn to make paletas and ice cream? Was this something you were doing in your free time?
Most don’t know this, but when we decided to go into business for ourselves, we actually started with a pizza cart. Paletas and ice cream were simply a dessert option along with other sweets. [But] Tomas is a chef, so he has what we like to call “el sazón.”
What gave you the idea to launch Gourmeletas?
Having the food background that we both had, we saw a need for cool [Latino] food at pop-up [events] in LA. We created a name just for ice cream & desserts and that took off. Our story is unique, our intention was never to create a dessert company, but it quickly gained momentum. We like to say: man plans, but God leads.
When it comes to starting your own business, what were your biggest learnings? What were your biggest challenges?
Our biggest learnings are you can’t do it alone. You need a good team that will help you accomplish your goals. When you realize you need to grow, growth brings the need for expansion and you have to figure it out. You can’t grow if you aren’t prepared.
What’s been the most exciting milestone on this journey so far?
We have launched a sister company, @GourmeLattes, offering mobile espresso cart services. In addition, [we’re excited about] the expansion of our dessert menu offerings under Gourmeletas, something that we wanted to do since day 1.
Any tips or advice you would share with budding entrepreneurs?
We always say, take an idea and make it your own. Everything is already invented. Creativity and passion can go a long way. And above else, be an honest person, run your business with integrity.
What do you hope is next for Gourmeletas?
For now we hope to continue growing our catering business. But when the right opportunity presents itself, we would love to have our own brick & mortar, somewhere ice cream lovers can come whenever they want and enjoy our sweet treats and coffee drinks.