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Area Students Now Have Access to Healthy Raspas

Cris Valdez serves healthy raspas during Harlingen fest. Photo: TonyVindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

Shaved ice, or raspa, is a popular food item in the Rio Grande Valley, particularly in late spring and more during the hot summer months in this part of South Texas.

But a Harlingen woman has taken the cold treat to another level as she sells the shaved iced topped with many flavors on the healthy side.

Sold under a franchise called Kona Ice, Cris Valdez takes her food truck to many events in the Mid-Valley including the recent Relay for Life held in La Feria last month.

“I have been in this business for the last two years,” she said. “I now own two trucks.”

Valdez said she spent 10 years working in human resource departments but she always wanted to have her own business and be her own boss.

The truck, decorated with tropical images, is usually spotted at some school functions, events and fundraisings held from Harlingen to Weslaco.

The franchise Kona Ice is known for its smart snacks initiative.

In 2016, Kona Ice announced it was introducing a new line of FruitFirst flavors.

Since then, the company has been leading flavor innovation efforts to stay ahead of the federal government’s requirements for school nutrition.

The mobile, Hawaiian-style shaved ice franchise, is based in Florence, Ky. It was founded by Tony Lamb in 2007.

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