With a dream and recipes in hand, Flor Molina wasn’t going to let anything stop her from bringing an ice cream shop to the Five Corners District.
Molina opened La Sipota Ice Cream & Smoothie in December, right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Later, winter storm Uri brought extremely low temperatures, not exactly ice cream weather.
In Spanish slang from Central America, “cipota,” means “girl.” La Sipota remains standing.
On a recent rainy Sunday, a pretty steady stream of customers dropped in to sample and purchase yummy goodies from Molina, an entrepreneur from El Salvador who clearly isn’t giving up on her sweet dreams.
From behind a large clear barrier — a sign of the times in which La Sipota opened — Molina scoops ice cream, mixes smoothies and prepares a variety of other snack foods.
The most popular menu items are as varied as the menu itself, which offers something for everybody, whether you are looking for something healthy, decadent or spicy, or a combination.
The bestsellers are the Strawberry Banana Smoothie, the Mocha Oreo Milkshake, and the Green Detox Natural Juice.
You can probably guess what’s in the Mocha Oreo Milkshake and the Strawberry Banana Smoothie. The Green Detox juice combines kale, cucumber, spinach, green apple and celery.
A number of the ice cream flavors are homemade, supplemented with some flavors that are mass produced.
We went for the homemade, of course, sampling Mazapan (a peanut confection), Gansito (a strawberry-flavored jelly and crème-filled Mexican snack cake with chocolate-flavored coating), and — for the young person in our group— Bubble Gum.
Our single scoops were all very generous helpings of creamy, fresh and interesting flavors.
“Our ice cream recipes are from grandma,” Molina said. “We buy all fresh fruits, and they do not contain any artificial ingredients or preservatives.”
The shop features a dozen homemade ice cream flavors alone, ranging from traditional favorites like Chocolate and Chocolate Mint to the savory sauce flavor of Chamoy or the Zarzamora and Cheese (blackberry and cheesecake).
“People tell me they would like to try a new flavor and give me the ideas,” Molina said, adding that her favorite flavor is Mamey. The “mamey sapote” is a species of tree native to Mexico and Central America that produces large edible red fruit with red rind and sweet yellow flesh.
Molina, who lives not far from the shop, said she wanted to bring something new to the area.
“I realized that there was no ice cream shop,” she said. “I decided to open this business a year ago because I’m an ice cream lover.”
Molina emigrated to the United States at age 16. She studied English at Houston Community College for about a year.
“My dream is that my business grows and is recognized by the whole community,” Molina said, adding that she hopes area residents enjoy her extensive menu and that they appreciate the quality of the product.
They should also appreciate the price. Prices are extremely reasonable, as one reviewer on Google noticed after a visit, posting about La Sipota: “Fairly priced for really good snacks and drinks!”
Molina’s other offerings include nachos and fried pork rinds, or “chicharrones preparados,” and more. For those who like a little fire, check out the “Crazy Elotes,” grilled corn smothered in a creamy mayo sauce and topped with chili powder, cheese, lime and Takis Fuego Chips or Hot Cheetos.
If you’re attempting to bulk up in a healthy way, Molina offers Meal Replacement Shakes, which are fortified with protein powder.
The ice cream, though, is worth the splurge.
As Molina said recently on social media: “No se puede comprar la felicidad, pero te puedes comprar un helado. Que es bastante parecido.”
Translation: “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy yourself an ice cream. And that’s pretty much the same thing.”
La Sipota Ice Cream & Smoothie
4407-B W. Fuqua St.
Houston, TX 77045
In the Southgate Shopping Center
— By Dorothy Puch Lillig