Originally from Guatemala, Fredy Agustin has been selling fruit and shaved ice for nearly 10 years around Los Angeles with members of his family. His truck – named “Frutas y Raspados del Chapin” – has found the most success in its current Westwood location.
“El Rey De Las Frutas,” another fruit truck, resides down the street. This one is owned by Israel Sanchez and his wife Norma, who are usually the only ones working every day. Sanchez said most customers come around lunchtime, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Sanchez values his loyal customers in the Westwood area, taking pride in the freshness and authenticity of his Mexican fruit and corn.
Colorful cut fruit is displayed through the windows on the truck. At 3:30 every morning, Sanchez goes downtown to get fresh fruit for his customers. The fruit is shipped from Sanchez’s home country, Mexico.
At Agustin’s truck, the fruit is cut and placed in metal containers. According to him, the best time to come is in the morning when the fruit display is fresh.
Fruit on display is kept in boxes on ice to ensure freshness all day.
Often, the fruit is doused in Tajín, a seasoning originating from Mexico that contains red chilies, sea salt and dehydrated lime juice. Agustin squeezes fresh lime on top of the Tajín to give it an extra kick.
This truck offered Agustin a fresh start after he divorced from his wife a decade ago and struggled to find a job without legal papers. Agustin eventually got his legal papers and started a profitable fruit business.
Sanchez started off in the restaurant industry and eventually started selling his own cut fruit in a small cart. With changing health regulations, Sanchez invested in a truck and has been working it for six years.
Both Sanchez and Agustin have customers in Westwood who they see on a regular basis. Each cup is priced around $5 and both owners are profiting at their respective locations.