In Jacksonville, there are a lot of locally crafted cold sweets to choose from, but most are fairly mobile. One of our favorites, made right here in Jacksonville, is Guanabana Ice Pops. It’s a family run business, handled by a husband and wife team, Oliver and Julieta Mosqueda, who started the biz in 2014.
The family came from South America, but once they moved to the states, they noticed a lack of unprocessed food, “even in school for our kids,” says Mr. Mosqueda, so they started making things from scratch at home. The popsicles they made “were a hit, not just with the kids, but also with friends and neighbors. Everyone just loved them.” The enthusiasm of those early taste-tests are why they decided to make it a business. The couple has two daughters, one a teen, one under ten, and a seven-year-old son. Mosqueda jokes that their kids have the job as Guanabana’s official tasters. It’s a job we should all envy!
If you’re wondering where the name Guanabana comes from, it has roots in their heritage. The fruit is found in Central and South America, and is a sort of sour-tart fruit that tastes a bit like a combo of strawberry and pineapple.
Popular this summer is their Fruits Pop, a three layer pop, with strawberry, mango, and kiwi. They’re big on seasonal flavors, introducing new flavors every month. They’ve introduced a lot of interesting pop flavors: mango raspberry, cucumber lime, and at GastroFest a pineapple spinach, which was a surprising hit during the fest. Should you find a limited flavor run that you love, you can order boxes of 10 to enjoy at home. Since all of their pops are made in small batches, it’s possible to order what you’ve tasted before (provided that it’s in season) and in some cases, they can even make custom flavors.
Besides pops, they’ve also found a way to satiate your craving for something more creamy. They’ve worked to develop ice cream cookie sandwiches, which I can attest are better than anything you might typically find in the freezer section of a major grocer. Nutella makes everything delish, so they naturally have something Nutella-based. They make all their own ice cream, and worked to develop the perfect recipe for French macarons, which top some of their ice cream sandwiches.
If you’d like to find out where their cart will be, make sure to check in on their facebook page. Get them on a day when they are in the St. Johns Town Center, and you can taste a little of our local flavor while enjoying a little retail therapy.