The Central Valley Fund(CVF), Davis, Calif., said it made a  preferred stock investment of $3.5 million inPaleteria La Michoacana, LLC(PLM). Officials said PLM, Modesto, Calif., will use the capital "as it continues to capitalize on growing demand across a wide variety of food and grocery retailers for its uniquely flavored Mexican-style frozen novelties and related ice cream products."

Officials said Ignacio Gutierrez and his wife, Patricia, have built the company over 20 years into a premier ice cream manufacturer and marketer.  Beginning with Hispanic-oriented grocery stores in the Central Valley, PLM's direct-to-store and third-party distribution network now covers both local and mainstream grocers and warehouse club stores in California, the InterMountain West region and Texas.

Jose Blanco is a CVF partner.

"We are impressed by management's ability to cater to its primary customer base, the Hispanic consumer, while capturing other markets due to the strong crossover appeal of the company's products," he said. "We will support management at all levels as they continue to expand and refine their marketing and distribution infrastructure in order to execute on existing and new market opportunities."