Lorena Mendoza Cantu is a third generation paleta maker,
following in her grandfather and father’s footsteps
by owning and operating her own paleteria,
Jose Mendoza found himself unsure how as to how he would support his 13 children and
put them through school. Jesus, Jose’s cousin, and godfather to his eldest son, Geronimo, suggested
purchasing the two paleterias for sale in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. Jose took Jesus’ advice and risked
everything by quitting his strawberry picking job, and taking out a loan with the help of Jesus acting as the
Jose and Jesus traveled to Mexico City to negotiate the purchase of the two paleterias. They sent
Jose’s son, Geronimo to learn how to use the equipment and how to make paletas. He was given just 12
hours of training.
Despite faulty equipment and other setbacks, the Mendozas pooled their limited resources and
equipment between the two stores and successfully opened both stores in July of 1978.
Geronimo Mendoza married Dora Maria Puente and started a family of his own,
including a daughter named Lorena. In 1980, Geronimo bought one of his father’s paleterias and invested
in new equipment, which enabled him to produce the paletas at a much faster rate, increasing the volume
of his operations.
The economy in Saltillo declined, so Geronimo sought out other business opportunities
and a year later he opened a third family paleteria in Chihuahua. Business was so good that by 1993
Geronimo relocated his family to Chihuahua.
Geronimo decided to retire and move back to Saltillo, but his retirement didn’t last long.
Geronimo’s passion for his paleterias proved too strong and by 2012 he opened a new paleteria, which he
still runs today, debt-free.
Geronimo’s daughter, Lorena Mendoza Cantu followed in her father’s footsteps and opened her
own paleteria, Padrino’s Pops in March 2014. Her passion for her craft is evident in every paleta she
makes. Lorena’s commitment to using fresh ingredients, as well as her dedication to the traditional paleta
making techniques passed down through her family, are what set her paletas apart from other popsicles.