By Satenik Sargsyan
LOGAN–Ana Yaqueline de Leon, owner of Neveria Ana’s Mexican sweet shop at 37 W. 100 North St., never seems lost in translation when fixing a “devil” or pico de gallo at her cozy ice cream shop. The economic situation in Mexico forced de Leon, 40, to move to Logan where she made spicy shaved ice and Mexican corn with mayonnaise, chili powder and cheese popular among the locals.
Despite the fact that de Leon doesn’t speak English well, she has a network of regular customers at the pastry shop who are always willing to point at the menu or the variety of fruit and vegetables at the stand in order to get their favorite goodies.
“When I tried the fresh fruit with spicy powder the first time, I knew I was going to be back regularly,” Bernadette Caldwell said. “My daughter and I stop by here when we feel like having a quick healthy snack.”
The so-called “devil” is shaved ice, covered with chili powder as spicy as one could bear. De Leon said that most people are hesitant about trying a devil but once they have tried it, enjoyment is almost guaranteed.
According to Pimentel, a new Mexican ice cream shop, Pepe’s, is their main competitor because the number of authentic Mexican sweet shops in Logan is very limited. However, de Leon’s friendly approach and small talk while making a snack wins customer loyalty for the shop.
Pepe’s employee Path Ferguson said that their aspiration to become the best ice cream place in town is constrained by the popularity Charlie’s and Cold Stone enjoy in Logan.
“We get most of our customers on Saturdays and Sundays,” Ferguson said. “We call it a good day when we have 10-15 people.”
Pepe’s receives its ice cream from a Mexican ice cream carrier. Neveria Ana’s buy its ingredients locally and makes authentic Mexican snacks in the middle of the Logan downtown.