Food News

Tasti D-Lite's Dallas Developer Wants the Stores to Offer a Taste of the American Dream

Tasti D-Lite's low-cal frozen "treat" -- it's not technically yogurt -- has been a friend to thin-obsessed New York women for decades, and in recent years it's found its way into other markets around the country. Now Francisco Gomez-Palacio, the area developer for the Nashville-based chain, is bringing the franchise to Dallas -- and is using his own path to success as a blueprint for potential franchisees.

A native of Mexico, Gomez-Palacio tells City of Ate he plans to open at least 25 Tasti D-Lites throughout Dallas and Tarrant counties, recruiting investors to franchise shops. He's specifically targeting immigrant and foreign investors chasing the American Dream. If they lack documents to work and live in the United States, Gomez-Palacio says, he will direct them to an immigration lawyer who, with Gomez-Palacio's help, will guide the prospective business owner through the paperwork.

He's already done it once. The first DFW store, in Southlake, opened in March, and is franchised by Marcela and Francisco Capetillo. "They came to me and we went through the process. It's going to do very well," Gomez-Palacio says in an interview at the second area store, which opened last week on Hillcrest Road.

It began with another business he owned, Latino Communications, a telecom venture he founded after moving to the United States in 1998. The company switched and terminated 8 percent of all calls from the U.S. to Mexico, equaling about 10 million calls monthly. He ended up selling his shares in Latino Communications.

"I didn't want to sit behind a desk anymore. I wanted to do other things with people," he says. "The frozen treat is the means to the selling of a human experience. That brings people back."

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this story referred to Tasti D-Lite's offerings as yogurt. It's no such thing, apparently.

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José Ralat Maldonado