Being the first Kansas City-based Latino franchise to have a concession stand in Kauffman Stadium is a dream come true, shared Palacana owner and CEO Jose Luis Valdez.
Palacana — which has six locations across the metro and an ice cream and paleta production facility in Roeland Park — is known for its fresh paletas, tacos, and agua frescas and can now be found in section 239 at Kansas City Royals games.
“I’m so excited,” Valdez said at a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday alongside the Royals, Aramark, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. “My heart’s like ‘Boom, boom.’ If you asked me years ago if we’re going to be here at the Royals stadium, I would have never thought that we’re gonna be here. But, finally, we are here.”
Formerly known as Paleterías Tropicana, Palacana opened its first location in the Westside in 2004, offering Michoacan-style Mexican ice cream.
Click here to learn more about Palacana.
“We’re so grateful because we are opening the door for other small family businesses to do the same things,” Valdez added.
At the stadium, he continued, fans will be able to enjoy Palacana’s carne asada tacos, taquitos dorados, elotes, churros, ice cream, and agua frescas.
“It makes us extremely proud to have the opportunity to promote our brand, our products, and culture together with an organization as significant and important to our community as the Royals,” Valdez said.
Maritza Chavez, corporate partnership coordinator for the Royals — who grew up as a fan of the hometown team and Palacana — shared that she’s always had a desire to see a Latino-owned stand at the stadium.
“As a supporter of the Royals and someone who’s grown up watching the Royals their entire life, you want to see businesses that look like you and owners that look like you running businesses like that,” Chavez explained. “I think people are super excited to have a Latino-owned stand in the stadium, to have food that represents, and for it not just to be a special that we do around Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s not something that we’re just gonna stamp our name on, but it’s something that we hope to continue in the stadium and to bring a relationship that lasts.”
Palacana was among 16 local ventures featured in the Royals’ new “Welcome to the City” commercial. Click here to read more about the 60-second spot and see which other businesses shared the spotlight.
Chazez noted that she hopes the Palacana partnership opens the stadium gates not only to more Latino-owned local businesses — but also more Kansas City small businesses.
“We pride ourselves in being Kansas City’s team,” she added. “We want to be able to bring Kansas City’s names to the Royals. So beyond Latino-owned businesses, we hope that Kansas City-owned businesses become the culture of what the Royals are.”