A friendly woman selling homemade ice pops from a little cart with an umbrella is the newest business on the Fresno foodie scene.
Donna Mott will debut her Ooh de Lolli ice pops outside Twee boutique at Tuolumne and Fulton streets during Arthop on Thursday evening.
Whatever you like to call them -- ice pops, Popsicles or paletas -- Mott has an assortment of flavors, ranging from hibiscus raspberry and strawberry cheesecake to savory flavors such as cucumber jalapeño and avocado lime.
Last week, Mott, 53, invited me into her quaint 1930s Fresno High-area home, where we chatted at her kitchen counter while the sound of her finch singing in the next room filled the background.
Unlike other people who start out making something yummy and then decide to turn it into a business, Mott went straight to the entrepreneurial stage. A paletas cookbook inspired her to research carts and ways to sell the ice pops.
Like food trucks, her business is mobile. She will use Twitter to let people know her location. H & E Nursery near Nees and Blackstone avenues will be a regular Saturday stop, roughly from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. She hopes to join The Market on Kern in downtown Fresno on Wednesdays, and she plans to sell her ice pops at various events around town.
Selling paletas is nothing new in the Valley. You've probably seen people selling them from carts attached to bicycles. And places like La Reina de Michoacan on Belmont Avenue regularly sell their varieties of the Mexican pops.
Mott's slogan, "paletas made by a gringa," is a nod to that heritage.
When she started researching the business, Mott wasn't worried that she could create a quality product. She's a lifelong foodie who used to skip class to catch the Galloping Gourmet in high school, after all.
Her flavors come from recipes that put a twist on the traditional.
I sampled the watermelon rose and Meyer lemon ice pops, among others. They were mini ice pops, which she'll sell as a "flight" of three samples, in addition to a larger size. There's also sweet corn and banana flavors, with the main ingredients roasted in the oven, peel and all, and mixed with a little sugar and water. And for special events, there's "grown up pops" such as chocolate Guinness and bourbon peach.
Mott gets her ingredients from farmers markets, the persimmon and lemon trees of friends and other places where she can be picky about the ingredients. She makes her ice pops at a commissary to meet health regulations.
For details, check out her website at oohdelolli.com.
Chipotle is opening a location at the corner of Cedar and Shaw avenues in Fresno. Or rather, as the big banner out front says, is undergoing a "burritofication."
The restaurant will open in the space that used to be The Big Swirl and The Big Cheese frozen yogurt and grilled cheese shop on the same corner as Jamba Juice.
Chipotle corporate says it's too far out to talk about opening dates yet, and judging from the Dumpster out front, there's still a lot of work to do.
The new Deli Delicious in Clovis will celebrate its grand opening Tuesday.
The sandwich shop at the southeast corner of Clovis and Herndon avenues opened in May, one of 12 Deli Delicious franchises in the area.
The grand opening will feature a ribbon cutting, bike raffle and other events starting at 11 a.m.
Denny's has opened in Kettleman City.
The diner is on Bernard Drive near two hotels and in the heart of the area where travelers on Highway 41 or Interstate 5 stop for food.
The restaurant employs 80 people.
The Domino's Pizza at 25 West D St. in Lemoore has reopened after a brief closure. It's now under new ownership, purchased by Sam Hishmeh, who owns 28 Domino's franchises in Central and Southern California.