Article and photos by Savanah Mandeville
For me, it’s almost impossible to drive down Main Street without a cute, tropical-colored food truck catching my eye near 20th and Main.
If you’re a Joplin local, you know exactly what I’m talking about – Pineapple Bliss!
Pineapple Bliss is a mobile dessert shop specializing in frozen fruit soft-serve. It changes locations occasionally but can usually be found at 2128 S. Main St., next to Frank’s Lounge.
And boy is it irresistible at this time of year. Luckily, you don’t have to resist because all Pineapple Bliss flavors are surprisingly low-calorie, vegan and good for you too! Pineapple Bliss products are dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free and low-calorie, so it’s the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt. And with upwards for 40 flavors, you’ll find whatever flavor your sweet tooth is craving that day.
“Some of our most popular flavors are the Strawberry Lemonade, Raspberry, Mango, Espresso, Blueberry Cheesecake, Pina Colada, Birthday Cake, Cotton Candy,” said Owner Megan Escalante. “We have a lot of favorites!”
Escalante said offering a healthy product was very important to her.
“I love that we’re good for people with food allergies, it is low-fat, low-calorie and low-sugar compared to other ice creams, and if you’re health conscious or count your macros, it’s easy to fit it into your macros – and it tastes good!” she said, adding she personally understands the struggle for customers with dietary restrictions. “I have Lupus so I have to watch what I eat, and I have to eat healthy. My sister doesn’t eat gluten, so that’s another reason it was important to me.”
Escalante and her team are extremely knowledgeable about the flavors and ingredients, so you can always ask if you’re unsure if a flavor fits your dietary needs.
Escalante was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. A long-time professional cosmetologist, she was always brainstorming ways to start her own business. That’s why when she saw the Pineapple Bliss food truck was for sale in summer 2016, she went for it.
“I was going to buy the salon I worked at and it didn’t work out. When this opportunity came up, it seemed like the right timing,” she said.
Escalante started out operating the food truck completely on her own while working full-time as a cosmetologist. In just three years’ time, she’s been able to add six employees.
“Social media and word of mouth have been huge for us,” she said. “We are always working on our customer service and being the best we can be.”
Escalante has come a long way since 2016, but she’s not done growing yet. She recently broke ground on a site at 20th and Illinois for a future hair salon and permanent location for Pineapple Bliss.
“Half the building will be Pineapple Bliss and the other half will be a salon,” she said. “We are very excited!”
2128 S. Main St.
Open April through October
Sunday-Thursday, 12-9 pm
Friday and Saturday, 12-10 pm
Follow Pineapple Bliss on Facebook to learn about upcoming specials, new flavors and promotions.