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A College Dream Called Guanalettas

Fotos por César Arroyo

Ever since Andrés Badilla and Reiner Vásquez studied business administration at the University of Costa Rica, they knew that they weren’t cut out to work for a boss. Their goal was to start their own company

Today, at ages 25 and 27 respectively and with degrees in administration, they own the homemade popsicle shop Guanalettas, a 100% Guanacastecan undertaking located on the main highway in Filadelfia.

The project was born in 2015 by the name of Heladitos Sardinal, but that was only to make a little extra money.

We had college expenses, but we couldn’t have jobs because studying for our degrees took up a lot of time,” Badilla said. “Reiner always liked cooking so we came up with the idea of selling ice cream out of his house in Sardinal.

After seeking out several different financing options and receiving backing from IMAS, a government social welfare institute, Guanalettas was born in November 2016.

In addition to the shop in Filadelfia, they distribute popsicles in Tamarindo, El Coco, Liberia and Playa Danta. They produce between 2,500 and 3,000 per month. From the freezing to the packing, they do it all on their own.

What does a Guanaletta taste like?

Their best flavor is natural fruit and its ingenious combinations. For now, there are 32 different flavors of ice cream.

Among them are the fruit flavors: 80% fruit and 20% water, sweetened with organic sugar. With just one taste you will think you are eating fresh fruit. Some of the combinations include kiwi-watermelon, guava, and strawberry-lime. They cost ¢1,300 ($2.30)

If you prefer to explore even more flavors, they also offer a premium line that costs between ¢1,300 and ¢1,700 ($2.30-$3.00). For example, they have a coconut-lavender flavor, which is made with coconut milk and lavender tea. They also have strawberry temptation made with white chocolate and strawberry jelly.

For diabetics or those who like to watch their calorie intake, Guanalettas offers a “specials” line that are sweetened with organic stevia and cost ¢1,300.
They also offer yogurt-based options and creamy popsicles made with milk.

These Guanacastecans dream of taking their ice cream to the rest of the country and they are saving money to invest in more equipment that helps reduce production times and broaden their selection.

  • Address: 50 meters north of the Filadelfia service station.
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday 11am to 8pm.
  • The Good: Good quality ice cream. You can taste the fruit flavors. They accept credit cards.
  • The Bad: The shop is very hot. They need fans. 
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