While it's tempting to stay inside when temperatures soar above 100, there are reasons to venture out beyond the air conditioning. With delicious cold treats being high on that list, Sweet Bites N Ice has something exciting bubbling up this weekend.
The new food truck is bringing a kaleidoscope of agua fresca and horchata along with churros, crepes, bubble waffles and funnel cakes to southwest Bakersfield.
"I wanted to create a menu with assorted unique desserts and aguas frescas," said Stephanie Chavez, who runs the truck with her parents. "All are dishes I personally enjoy, and they remind me of memories that bring me joy."
Chavez said her goal is for people to enjoy the truck's treats and make memories with friends and loved ones.
Sweet Bites is the evolution of the truck Chavez's parents started two years ago, focusing on selling agua fresca at local swap meets. Chavez said she would help out while she was in school but has now taken a bigger role after moving to Bakersfield after graduation.
Focusing on building the truck's social media and marketing, Chavez has offered hints on Instagram and Facebook of what customers can expect. On the beverage side, Sweet Bites pays tribute to its roots with more than 30 flavors of agua fresca including the popular piña colada, and Chavez's personal favorite, lime with guava.
"When I worked with my parents, people really liked to see a lot of flavors for the agua fresca," she said. "That’s one of the things you look for, a choice for everyone, a little variation."
Using family recipes, developed by Chavez's parents and grandparents, also help Sweet Bites stand out.
The beverages are customizable with an assortment of fruit flavors. Customers can also add in boba, mixed or lychee jelly and chia seeds or get a chamoy rim for an additional fee.
Horchata also gets the special treatment with options like horchata with strawberry and watermelon as well as horchata iced coffee and an iced coffee float with horchata ice cream.
The truck's two flavors of ice cream, vanilla and horchata, are available in floats, sundaes and on top of funnel cakes and bubble waffles.
For anyone overwhelmed by the customization, Chavez has a few suggestions of where to start including "the classic" crepe with Nutella, banana and strawberry; horchata ice cream coffee float; and the churro sundae, which consists of four churros, a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, and choice of two drizzles and one topping.
Chavez plans to post a menu online in advance of the opening.
Even though the truck doesn't begin operating until this weekend, interest has grown on social media.
Chavez said, "I have been surprised by the amount of people that are following us and the comments all seems to be positive. I'm surprised and happy about it."
For now, Sweet Bites will be open on Saturdays and Sundays at the parking lot of Howard's Mini Market at Panama Lane and Wible Road. (Chavez will keep followers updated on social media if the location changes.) As business grows, the truck may head out on weekdays as well.
There is currently not a way to preorder items but Chavez said she is looking into partnering with Grubhub or another delivery provider to help facilitate advance ordering. Call-in orders are also in the works.
Chavez is looking forward to bringing this assortment of treats to new Bakersfield customers.
"We’re a family business and want to bring people a little bit of joy in this unprecedented time in a safe way.
"Even if they just buy a funnel cake or get churros and eat them in the car, they can have those moments with our food."
Sweet Bites N Ice will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the parking lot of Howard’s Mini Market, 3200 Panama Lane. For more information, visit facebook.com/sweetbitesnice.