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El Capote offers fruit, ice cream in family business
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The sign outside of El Capote during the grand opening in Gainesville on Friday. - photo by David Barnes

El Capote Fruit & Ice Cream Lovers

Where: 1705 Cleveland Highway, Gainesville

Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week

More info:

Varieties of fruit cups, ice cream and warm, freshly made waffle cones are among the desserts offered at a business that opened last week in Gainesville

El Capote Fruit & Ice Cream Lovers celebrated with a grand opening at its location in Northlake Plaza located at 1705 Cleveland Highway in Gainesville.

Fernando Barajas, the owner, is working with his family in this new shop that takes its name from the small town of about 400 people where he and his family lived before moving to the United States about 14 years ago. Barajas and his wife, Esperanza, are working there along with his mom, Analine Silva, and brothers, Brian and Kevin Barajas. His sister, Zulema Martinez, is the manager and her husband, Jesus, is also working in this family business.

“This started as a longtime project for our family,” he said. “We’re planning on taking it as far as we can go with it.”

The fruit cups are traditional Mexican dishes that include fruit such as apples, strawberries, pineapples, pears, bananas, watermelons and cantaloupes mixed with peanuts and spices that give it a sweet or spicy taste.

The ice cream includes a variety of flavors provided by Hershey’s. There are also milk shakes, juices and other drinks.

Barajas said the business is starting with serving fruit and ice cream separately, but added, “we will get a little crazy with the mixes later.”

“I guess what makes it different from other ice cream places is we are trying to combine things — fruit, ice cream and milk shakes,” he said. “We also do waffle cones. The cone is made when you order, with our mixture. We put it in the waffle maker and it is served nice and warm.”

Martinez has run fruit stands before and her brother was also looking for way to do ice cream, so they decided to go into business together and bring the family together.

“I have that entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to work myself,” Barajas said. “She (Martinez) wanted to do fruit and I wanted to do ice cream, so we decided to bring them together.”

El Capote’s first customer at the grand opening was Gail Sargent, a retired public school teacher, who taught Esperanza Barajas in kindergarten and first grade at Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy. Sargent came after seeing a Facebook post by her former student and excitedly referred to Esperanza as “one of my babies.”

Jafet Coronel, 15, was on the way to another store in Northlake Plaza with his mother, Alicia Salazar, and sisters Crystal and Celeste Salazar.

“We usually come to the store, and we saw the people were going in and out of here and wanted to see what is going on,” Coronel said Friday. “Then we saw the sign said there’s going to be a grand opening of a new ice cream store, so we decided to come.”

As he and Celeste enjoyed cups of cookies and cream, Crystal had a cup of strawberry cheesecake ice cream. He said his family lives nearby, and he said they are glad to have ice cream in the neighborhood.

“It’s pretty good,” he said. “It will be good with this hot weather.”

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