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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Lizeth Alonso


La Michoacana

Lizeth Alonso’s father, Santos, learned the ice cream business in Michoacan, a Mexican town where Lizeth spent part of her youth. But he put his plan on hold for many years to work in California fields. He separated from his family from 1976 until Lizeth, her mother and siblings moved to the United States in 2002. Lizeth never intended to work in the food business, but she knew it had been a dream of her father’s.

After learning about an ice cream franchise named for his town, La Michoacana, he opened a branch of the business in Nashville and brought in his family to help run the place. Customers, many of them Hispanic, have been flocking in for a taste of home in the form of mangonadas and fruit-filled paletas. The line often stretches twenty-five people deep. Customers spill onto the sidewalk to finish their ice cream with their families.

“We work together,” Lizeth says of the busy days with her family members. “We’re a team and we’re working for the same thing. To have a better life and a better future.”

Date of interview:
2016-03-14

Interviewer:
Jennifer Justus

Photographer:
Emily B. Hall

Download Transcript

WORKING TOGETHER

WE CAN CULTIVATE PROGRESS.

The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.

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