Rolling with Cream
Raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, Mark Lewis – co-owner of Rolling with Cream – gave up the frigid north back in 2012 to take a job transfer in the infinitely warmer Rio Grande Valley. With the heart of an entrepreneur, it didn’t take him long to realize opportunities abounded in the Valley.
Seeing Thai Ice Cream Rolls on Facebook, Mark began his research on the product, even going so far as to visit an Asian shop in Chinatown back in NYC, all for a taste test. Convinced of its possibilities, Mark and his partner, Andrew Gomez, bought a machine and Mark developed their basic recipe over the summer.
It was winning the McAllen Chamber’s Business Plan Competition that gave them the boost they needed to bring their plan to fruition.
“We did our Shark Tank demonstration, making up sample taste cups of the ice cream for the judges,” he grinned. “I did a PowerPoint presentation, talked of my plans, and we won the prize for something we had started in the garage!”
Watching the ice cream get prepared is like watching an artist craft a masterpiece.
The cold plate is minus 20 degrees when the cream and additional ingredients are added. A dance of the choppers begins with a series of swirling, twisting, and folding. This process is repeated over and over until the ice cream artist is content with its consistency.
Only then is the concoction flattened out in a large, thin square where it freezes instantly. Next the rolling begins and the luscious rolls of ice cream are created almost as if by magic. Adding the toppings, the delectable delight is handed over and the culinary gratification begins.
“We pride ourselves on the freshness of the ice cream,” he said triumphantly.
Attending the Ice Cream Makers Short Course at the University of Wisconsin firmed up the fact that this idea turned passion has a long future ahead.
“We have other ice cream concepts we want to bring to the Valley,” Mark said enthusiastically. “I think that is what will always set us apart. We’re ice cream with an identity!”
By Roda Grubb