La Michoacana
February 17, 2007 9:15 PM   Subscribe

Why is it that many Mexican candy/drink shops seem to be called "La Michoacana" or some variation thereof?

I live in the Southwest and I've noticed many shops that sell ice cream, aguas frescas, and other Mexican treats called "La Michoacana." They seem to be on every corner in Juarez. Is this just some large Mexican franchise or is there a reason why they are all called the same thing?
posted by pravit to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Michoacana is a chain, both manufacturer and retail. Kinda like all the See's Candy stores you see in malls around the US.
posted by afx114 at 9:24 PM on February 17, 2007


It's not a franchise or a chain according to the Austin Chronicle. There might be chains that use the word Michoacana, but they apparently also have another word in the name (Like 'Super Michoacana' or 'Nueva Michoacana')

There's different stories but they all boil down to someone from Michoacán (a state in western Mexico) opening a store that sold paletas with the name La Michoacana. They didn't trademark the name at the time, and other people opened places with the same name to cash in on the recognition.

Here's the article from the Chronicle

Notice they keep referring to the treats the stores sell as "Popsicles". Think of it the same way as you would 'escalator' or 'bubble wrap'... a brand name that's now become the generic term for the product, no matter who makes it.
posted by aristan at 9:37 PM on February 17, 2007


It's not a chain. It's a state. It's the equivalent of Texan or Californian or whatever else.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:38 PM on February 17, 2007


Ahhh shit, guess I was wrong. My Mexican wife tells me she always grew up thinking they were a chain.
posted by afx114 at 9:53 PM on February 17, 2007


Great answer, aristan! I was aware that Michoacan was the name of a Mexican state, but I did not know why every popsicle shop was named after the state.
posted by pravit at 10:17 PM on February 17, 2007


There's at least one chain, since I always see them around Houston: white building, red lettering, Mexican people everywhere.

Here's another article about the legal issues around the name.
posted by lychee at 3:50 AM on February 18, 2007


I can second Aristan's explanation, if "That's how it was explained to me when I asked the same question in Mexico" counts as a seconding.
posted by rokusan at 5:17 AM on February 18, 2007


i think it's like the mexican baskin-robbins (heladeria michoacana!).

my guess is that immigrants brought the name across the border and were savvy enough to use it here to attract other immigrants.
posted by thinkingwoman at 6:33 AM on February 18, 2007


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