Business Spotlight: Frutilandia

By Staff

Frutilandia has been a staple of healthy eating in City Heights since it was established 14 years ago at its original site on Fairmount Avenue. Today it’s located at the southwest corner of University and Cherokee avenues.

Frutilandia is a traditional Mexican-style “fruteria”, more commonly known as a fruit and juice bar in the United States. The store serves smoothies, milkshakes, fruit salads, strawberries and cream, pico de gallo (cup of large chunks of fruit topped with chile powder), and escamocha (cup of finely chopped fruit with toppings). Shrimp ceviche rounds out the menu and provides a full meal for the health-conscious eater. Everything is prepared fresh and in plain sight of the customer.

Alfonso and Maria Camacho founded the business after immigrating to City Heights from Mexico. Alfonso initially worked at a local Mexican candy-making factory but decided to go into business for himself after seeing the success of a friend’s business nearby. Today Frutilandia is run by his sons, Alfonso Jr. and Alejandro.

Alfonso Jr. is a Hoover High School graduate and has been working for the family business since its inception. As a youth he worked the counter after school. Today he’s actively involved in all phases of the business, still working counter shifts while negotiating contracts, supervising employees, and maintaining quality control.

Alfonso Jr. says the most popular dish is probably the strawberries and cream, which some of his American-born customers call “fruit parfait.”

Frutilandia is located at 3647 University Ave. Its hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekends.