(arts) sa pops (tania khan)

SA Pop, a frozen treats shop, invites customers to cool off with artisan, handcrafted treats and drinks that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest sweets eater.

The creator behind the brightly colored paletas — popsicles — that are quickly becoming popular from word of mouth is San Antonio native Andrew Gutierrez. Gutierrez opened the shop for his love of frozen treats after working at various culinary institutes and businesses and becoming experienced in the art of bringing joy to people through food. Along with Gutierrez, his parents, Marina and Silvester, help manage the front of house.

SA Pop has a down-to-earth and family-friendly atmosphere upon entering the shop. Outside, vivid drawings paint the front windows alongside charming flower pots and tables for customers to sit and enjoy their treats. Inside, the shop keeps true to its roots with bright colors and random objects and pieces of art that relate to Mexican or San Antonio culture in one way or another. Mismatched tables and chairs take up most of the room, creating a quirky yet endearing place to visit.

Using local, seasonal fresh ingredients, Gutierrez creates a variety of multi-colored paletas with flavors ranging from the simple — vanilla and mango — to the more exotic — tamarindo and rice pudding. All of the paletas are crafted using an authentic paleta machine imported from Mexico.

Prices are inexpensive and start from $2 for a simple paleta. Other treats include New Orleans-styled shaved ice, handmade ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes, soft-serve ice cream, Mexican sodas and sundaes.

For something simple, try the raspberry paleta. Made fresh from real raspberries, there is no hint of artificial flavoring or preservatives. Tart and sweet, the treat coloring leaves lips a deep shade of red. For something deliciously different, order the chocolate dipped pistachio paleta. Once the order is placed, the paleta is hand-dipped and then coated with crushed pistachios for a crunchy and nutty treat that leaves customers wanting another.

Shaved ice is also a good option for beating the heat. Sizes vary, with a small (8 oz.) being $2 and the large (20 oz.) being $4. All the syrups are made in-store and vary from options such as horchata and wedding cake to dill pickle and chamoy. Go for the piña colada and add ice cream for $1 more for a delicious and satisfying combination,

Freshly made cookies create the handcrafted ice cream sandwiches. For $2, customers can get a good-sized sandwich with flavors ranging anywhere from chocolate chip to triple chocolate fudge. All sandwiches have a thick layer of an assorted flavor of ice cream.

The owners make an effort to talk and connect with customers, adding to the friendly and cozy atmosphere of the shop that has guests feeling welcomed and wanting more treats.

SA Pop is located at 3420 N. Saint Mary’s St. and is opened from Sunday to Saturday from 2 to 8 p.m. Visit sapops.net for more information.

Related Stories

More from Tania Khan/ Staff Writer

Editorial Board

At the University of Missouri, real change happened — but only when loss of university revenue was threatened. Missouri student…

More In Arts_and_life

Jose Chapa Web Editor

Living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has been a very difficult challenge for me. I, and the 30,000 other people in…