It all started about 14 years ago while I studied at the Art Institute of Dallas. One of my first HTML projects was to create a website. I named it LottaFrutta and it was all about the fun facts of fruits around the world. I needed a logo, so I stacked fruit on my head and took the picture myself.
I was raised McAllen, Texas - a city located in the most southern tip of South Texas right along the border of Mexico. My grandparents on both sides of my family were born and raised in Mexico and made McAllen their hometown choice to raise their in total 27 children -15 on Dad’s side and 7 on Mom’s. McAllen is where my parents met, married and raised their 5 girls. Mexican Traditions run deep in my family.
While growing up, my father owned citrus orchards with oranges, grapefruits and lemons that we tended in our 2 acre backyard. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a fruit chef and worked for a catering company for 22 years. His specialty was carving fruit literally turning watermelons into swans. With fruit that my grandfather brought home from work, my grandmother prepared and sold homemade paletas (icepops) from her a big freezer in her garage. After school, all the neighborhood kids would walk to her house to buy a paleta for .25 cents. And, in a way, I wanted to capture and relive those great childhood memories and follow in their footsteps.
In 1994, after college, I moved away from home to start an internship at a Spanish Television Network in Dallas. 9 years later, I was transferred within the company to Atlanta to continue my work at their sister station for the next 2 years. Little did I know that my new life as a restaurateur was right around the bend.
In 2004, having just moved to Atlanta from Texas, I started to get a little homesick and began my search for fresh street food that was easily attainable in South Texas. I asked one of my colleagues at work for the nearest fruiteria, and she referred me to a Hispanic plaza on Buford Hwy. When I arrived to this plaza, a sensation came over me as if I just arrived back to my hometown!! It was a wonderful feeling. But it was then that I realized a restaurant like LottaFrutta didn’t exist. From that point, I knew my calling. So, with website in hand and the drive and energy to start a new adventure, LottaFrutta opened its doors in 2006.
Many customers have asked us, “Where geographically is LottaFrutta from?“ The answer, “Pan-Latin.” LottaFrutta’s menu not only highlights my childhood memories in Mexico, but my extended family’s childhood memories in Ecuador. Friends, Families and Soul Brothers of Cuba, Mexico, Central and South America contributed their memories to the collective colorful menu you see today. Each menu item has a happy story to be told.
The core of LottaFrutta’s menu is the Mexican-style Fresh-Cut Fruit Cups, South American-style Smoothies and Cuban-inspired grilled Sanduches followed by traditional Mexican Paletas and Ecuadorian Helado (ice cream).