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Downtown ice cream shop reopens in renovated space

One of Woodburn’s favorite sweet spots just got a little sweeter.

by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Alondra Martinez, an employee at El Paisanito, spoons out a raspados treat for a customer.The folks behind El Paisanito, the ever-popular ice cream shop in downtown Woodburn, have expanded their location and will now have 4,000 square feet dedicated solely to production.

For El Paisanito’s loyal following of customers, that means all the more space for making rich and fruity creations like lemon, cocoa, strawberry, pineapple, walnut, tamirind, and the beloved “angel kiss” — a flavor co-owner Bertha Gomez Larios says is hands down the customer favorite.

At the moment, Gomez tallies at least 36 flavors on the shop’s list with the number always growing.

The businesswoman runs the shop with her husband, Daniel Gomez, and in the years they’ve been in business, all seven children have helped out at some point. Although most are now grown, 15-year-old Brenda, the youngest, still assists at times. Gomez says her daughter likes it because her friends sometimes drop in to see her.

“She likes being here,” Gomez said.

The new Front Street expansion isn’t the first time the well-known ice creamery has gotten a makeover. A few years back, the business moved from Hubbard into the more prime location in downtown Woodburn.

Within the shop’s walls, it boasts a strong Mexican-style influence, both in terms of confections as well as atmosphere and decor. This is likely due to the fact that Gomez’s family is from Michoacan, the birthplace of the famous “paleta,” a frozen fruit bar similar to an American popsicle.

El Paisanito serves these traditional paletas, as well as batidos (milkshakes), raspados (shaved ice) and regular ice cream.

More than anything, she said, the ice cream shop is a social gathering place for the community.

“It is for our family but it is also something for our culture,” she said. “The children love it. The big ones, the small ones. All of them.”

For Gomez personally, she says it’s hard to pinpoint what she likes best about being in the ice cream business because there are “so many things,” but working alongside her husband is among them.

“We work here together, we enjoy time together,” she said. “We get to be together a lot.”

In terms of future goals, they’ve just achieved a big one, she noted, so for now they’re just thinking about moving forward with the new space. But they are excited about the possibilities, she said.

“We welcome everyone to come down,” Gomez said. “We’d love for everyone to see all the new things we have.”



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