Winter is in full swing. During those depressive and grey days, a splash of color and fresh food can lift up the spirit. If you feel like you need a pick me up on a gloomy day head out to Arely’s Restaurant and Ice Cream, located in Muscatine, IA.
The owners of Arely’s are Reyna and Francisco Baltazar. They opened their business in April of 2017.
“I always liked selling food,” Reyna said. “That was my motivation. To own something ourselves”
She also explained that her husband was not on board with this venture at first, but after a while he liked the idea and they took the risk.
Mr. Baltazar shared that when they opened their business their biggest struggle was bringing people in.
“It is hard to get people to come,” Mr. Baltazar said. “People are used to eating at certain restaurants and when they see something new they think it over before trying it.
Since Arely’s sells ice creams, many customers assumed it was just an ice cream parlor, but this new restaurant has a lot more to offer. They sell ice creams, mangonadas, tacos and gorditas and quite a few snacks that will make you crave to try more.
“We sell a lot of aguas frescas,” Mrs. Baltazar said. “People love it. And tacos and mangonadas.”
Mr. Baltazar explained that it was hard to start a business because they did not have a lot of knowledge. They did do a little research trying foods and scouting the internet in search of current trends in the food industry. After recommendation they went to talk to Dan Kim from Community CPA, who helped them to launch their business.
“They [employees from Community CPA] are very friendly and we trust them,” Mr. Baltazar shared his experience of working with Community CPA. “We never had our own business and they gave us advice about what we should and shouldn’t do and what is good for us.”
The couple that runs Arely’s is thankful to Community CPA for all the help they received from them.
At this point Reyna and Francisco own and run the business with a little help from their three daughters. The girls are 11, 9 and 6 years old. Mrs. Baltazar explained laughing that they get a little bored when they don’t have customers coming in, but they help when customers are there.
Even though it is hard, the couple keeps on working. Mrs. Baltazar explained that sometimes when business is slow she feels worried and doubts their decision of opening the restaurant.
“Our daughters [motivates us],” Mrs. Baltazar said. “We have to work and raise them. Yes, we feel discouraged sometimes, but we overcome it and move ahead.”
The couple have a lot of plans they would like to implement so they could grow their business. They are contemplating new menu items and selling food during different festivals during summer. More than anything they are inviting everyone to come out and try Arely’s. The tropical feel, and colors will brighten any grey winter day and their food will keep you coming back for more no matter what season is out there.
“Every time I’m in Muscatine I try to stop by for a large cup of Agua Fresca,” Tar Macias, Hola America director, said. “You can taste they use fresh fruit and not the flavor powder that some places use. My favorite flavor is Pineapple and in the summer they have cucumber and watermelon Aguas Frescas which I also love.”
Mr. Baltazar assures us that they only use fresh fruit for his Aguas Frescas.
“Mexican snacks we sell here are natural and fresh,” Mr. Baltazar said inviting everyone to try Arely’s. “We make everything with fresh ingredients, fresh fruit. Come over and try it.”
Arely’s Restaurant and Ice Cream is located at 506 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, IA. Their phone number is (563) 506-6757. Look for them in Facebook as Arelys Ice.