All eyes on the tiger, Raspas El Tigre, located at 215 Hodges St in Cornelia, is getting the spotlight. It is not just an ice cream place; it is more than that.
“I go almost every day, and the day I crave it the most it’s closed,” said junior early education major Kate Trujillo. “The owners are sweet people, I always feel welcomed when I enter. Tigre-Mix, amazing, perfect for a hot sunny day.”
Raspas El Tigre is owned by the Covarrubias family who values the importance of their customer service making sure customers feel comfortable. Habersham County, where Raspas El Tigre is located, is predominately white populated. People would believe that there would be a language barrier, however that is not the case. The Covarrubias are bilingual and so are most of the employees, so if a customer has a question, they are welcome to ask. “I tell our staff, don’t speak Spanish in front of them [non-Spanish speaking customers] because we know how to speak English,” said Mr. Covarrubias “That makes them more comfortable.”
Mrs. Covarrubias has experience of working in restaurants and would notice other servers’ reactions towards the customer and wanted to implement a preferable method at Raspas El Tigre. Employee communication skills are one of the top priorities for the Covarrubias. Having the experience, the Covarrubias apply the lessons they learned to their own establishments.
“Ice cream shop” is what shows under Raspas El Tigre in Google Map however, “We don’t want to be seen as just ice cream shop,” said Mr. Covarrubias. “I want people to think of Raspas as antojitos [little cravings] in general.”
Although many people did recognize the ice cream first, there are more on the menu from pancakes, raspados [shaved ice], aguas frescas [fresh flavored waters], and more. “And they all are kind of crazy,” said Mrs. Covarrubias
They become inventive in their order to not just make it the typical. “Yeah, what’s a way we can do to make it more unique.”
They always end up adding something extra to keep their customers excited and come back to try something different. Piedmont students are starting to have a liking for their style. With this being said Raspas will soon have discounts for Piedmont students.
“For a small little corner shop, they are amazing at providing new and interesting treats that the average American may not have had access to, due to growing chains and restaurants across the country taking up small business revenue,” said sophomore forensic science major Angel McDaniel. “They offer many choices of products, free samples of their ice cream, and are so friendly and patient!”
The couple started selling from Mr. Covarrubias cousins’ driveway until they got their establishment. The Covarrubias mentioned the experience they went through being everywhere in getting Raspas to where they are right now. They supported each other and encouraged each other to keep going even when they would hit their lowest during their journey.
“Raspas todavía no es lo que queremos que sea, [Raspas is still not what we want it to be]” said Mrs. Covarrubias.
There is a lot more to come from Raspas El Tigre, so keep an eye on the tiger.