Faustino Martinez is the founder and owner of Bolis el Oaxaqueño, a mobile artisanal ice cream business in South Central Los Angeles. Faustino immigrated to the U.S. from Oaxaca, Mexico in 2003 with the intention of staying only a few years, but it wasn’t long before he had built a life for himself in Los Angeles as an entrepreneur and advocate for immigrant and elder rights.
When Faustino first arrived in the U.S. he faced a lot of discrimination and had trouble securing a stable job. Eventually, through connections he landed a maintenance job at a supermarket in Pasadena working the graveyard shift. On his way to and from work on the bus he would often see other Latinos on the street with carts and tricycles selling food. It made Faustino emotional to see his fellow immigrants working so hard only to be treated like animals. That’s what motivated him to start his own ice cream business; the idea that he could create something on his own terms and use it to help his fellow immigrants by providing good, stable jobs to support themselves and their families.
Faustino hopes to continue expanding his business in order to offer more opportunities to his fellow immigrants, especially older folks who have trouble securing jobs. He also dreams of turning the mobile business into his very own paletería, where he’d serve even more frozen treats made with fresh fruit and natural ingredients.