Liza and Quino make ice cream extraordinaire bringing Mexico’s famous processes to bare on Bali’s natural flavours. Words: Tony Stanton. Photo: Oscar Munar.
Liza and Quino, how did you guys first meet?
Liza: Quino and I met in Spain in 2010 when I was still living in Madrid and he was on vacation. During that first evening he told me how wonderful Bali was and how happy he was to be in Indonesia. We exchanged contacts and Facebook profiles and he continued his life in Indonesia and I returned to Brazil for a job offer. For a long time we weren’t in contact. It was in December 2013 we said hi again and during that conversation Quino invited me to come and experience the Island of the Gods. And that’s what happened. I spent three months planning the holiday and at the end of July 2014 packed my things and arrived for the first time; it was love at first sight.
Quino: Liza fell in love with Bali and I remember when she finally decided to live on the island she arrived with several giant suitcases and a little Chihuahua called Megy. Then during the first months she came up with the brilliant idea of making natural popsicles (paletas), something I had never experienced before. I remember one Christmas Day she made some samples for our friends and BAM! That’s how it started. By May 2015 we had launched our first outlet on Merta Nadi with all production on the second floor of the ruko. Today we have more than 15 outlets around Indonesia.
What are your roles at the company?
Quino: The company has basically been divided into operations, then sales and marketing. Liza takes care of production, logistics, warehousing etc and I am focussed on the development and expansion of the brand. It’s funny because we’ve switched roles for this project … her background is more in sales and my experience is in operations.
When did ice cream come into your lives?
Liza: As with everyone I think I loved ice cream as a child, but it was my mother who created the desire in me to know more about it. My mother was always careful with what we ate and was very concerned about us eating healthily. So she always encouraged us to make our own desserts, cakes, ice cream and juices at home. That’s something I thank her for.
Quino: I have been always an ice cream lover. I remember as a kid in the south of Spain it was a tradition to eat ice cream after our football games in the evenings or during the hot summers with a bunch of friends, but frankly speaking I never thought I would end up in this business!
Where does the name Paletas Wey come from?
Liza: ‘Wey’ is a word used for practically everything in Mexico. We thought it was something so Mexican it should be part of our brand.
Quino: We’ve both been close to Mexican people in the past and we both loved how Mexicans use ‘wey’ to colloquially call your buddy or mate. Hence Paletas Wey.
Were there months and months of just experimenting with different flavours before you went ‘live’?
Liza: Yes, definitely. There were hard times when the tests didn’t go as they should. I wanted to deliver an excellent product and many days I left the production totally frustrated for not being able to reach my goal … there were moments of crying and thinking about giving up. But thanks to God and Quino’s encouragement, I kept at it.
Quino: Yes, there were tough moments for her since she worked hard during weeks to reach the right balance for each flavour, considering all the different aspects of texture, colour and sweetness.
What are your most popular products?
Liza: A very complicated question! We have a few. Fruit lovers tend to go for Watermelon and Lime or Strawberry and Kiwi. People who prefer something more creamy and unique always go to Banana and Nutella, Durian or Vanilla Oreo.
What’s the absolute best thing about Paletas Wey?
Liza: For me it is the ability to guarantee (especially to the children) a product made of real fruit, and be sure that they are fed something healthy … free of preservatives and flavourings … that has always been our mission.
Quino: The coconut Paletas dipped in chocolate with almonds! Seriously though for me I think the best thing about us is our team.
What’s the very last word on durian ice cream?
Liza: Creaminess. It is an intense and unique flavour. I love it.
Quino: I will leave that for Liza to answer ha ha!
Guys, many thanks for your time!