The rolled ice cream craze, which began in Thailand and is spreading across the U.S., is coming to Madison with two stores opening in the next several weeks.
This summer, the owners of two Indonesian food carts in Madison sold rolled ice cream at Taste of Madison, where another cart owner saw the wild response and decided to partner with them on a location to sell the ice cream at West Towne Mall.
Sisters Maggie and Dewi Jingga, who operate the colorful carts Jakarta Cafe and Jakarta Barbecue Station, have a one-year lease for Fancy Roll, where they will make and roll ice cream in front of customers to create elegant-looking desserts. Rob Kratochwill of the food cart Pots-n-Tots, and Maggie’s boyfriend, is a partner.
“It’s one of the biggest trends going on right now and it fits my perspective on food,” Kratochwill said. “Lots of different flavor options and fresh, made-to-order. So you could say it fits my ticket.”
Meanwhile, a similar business, Rollicious Creamery, which has a location at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, is getting ready to open at 330 State St.
Also known as Thai ice cream, rolled ice cream or ice pan ice cream, the rolls are made by pouring milk on an iced pan and then adding fruit, cookies, candy and other ingredients. The ice cream is smoothed out and formed into curls in front of the customer.
At West Towne, Fancy Roll will have a kiosk that takes the place of Ben’s Soft Pretzels, part of a national chain. It will be behind La Coppa Gelato, between the food court and the children’s play area. Maggie Jingga said she hopes to open by Sunday.
Early this year, when Jingga went back to her native Indonesia for a month to visit her brother, she spent a week in Thailand where she discovered the ice cream rolls, which have been popular there and in neighboring countries for the past five or six years.
In 2015, images of the ice cream rolls spread internationally through online videos. Cold Stone Creamery offers a similar concept in the U.S., but in a more typical ice cream format.
Jingga is still fine-tuning her menu, but will offer about 10 varieties of rolled ice cream and display them on a TV monitor.
Her tentative menu includes Oreo, strawberry and Nutella, bananas and Nutella, s’mores, peanut butter and chocolate, apple pie, strawberry and blueberry, coffee and caramel, M&M, and chocolate mint. They will cost $6.50 each.
Fancy Roll is her own creation, not part of a franchise, Jingga said.
Customers waited in long lines Labor Day weekend at Taste of Madison, where Jingga first began selling her ice cream rolls. She also sold them along with smoothies at the Willy Street Fair in September.
She said at Taste of Madison people begged her not to close as the festival was winding down at the end of its two-day run, telling her they had come from Minnesota and Iowa.
“People are so crazy for these ice cream rolls. They are hits right now,” Jingga said.
Second location for Mount Horeb couple
Rollicious Creamery, meanwhile, is owned by Phillip and Indri Kasubaski, who live in Mount Horeb. The couple discovered rolled ice cream three years ago during their travels.
“Since then we have been making our own premium blend of cream to roll into the sweet treats and loving every minute of it,” Phillip Kasubaski said.
They don’t have an opening date set for State Street yet but plan to open next month.
Jingga said she visited an ice cream roll store in Chicago’s Chinatown called Legend Tasty House and found 45-minute lines there and people waiting outside in the rain with umbrellas.
If her West Towne kiosk is successful, Jingga said she plans to open a second location next year. She’d also eventually like to sell the ice cream rolls from a food cart, too.
She realizes it all sounds ambitious, but Jingga said she is following the advice of her Buddhist master, who told her “opportunity comes just once. You will not always have it.”