A small little shop with a bright pink sign sits welcoming on Ludlow in the Lower East side of New York City. What was once an unassuming smoothie shop has now turned into a dessert sensation. Juicy Spot Cafe has been serving up ice cream rolls in New York City since July 11th, 2015 and they've never looked back.
"The process definitely interested me, so I bought a machine myself and I started experimenting with it and then, you know, when I finally thought we had something going here, that's when I started serving it to the customers."
Founder Lori said that the smoothie shop they owned already held all of the ingredients necessary to make the rolled ice cream, so the big leap was buying the machine to play around with. The rolled ice cream has been a hit with customers where they can feel a part of the experience, watching the Ice Cream Rolls being created on the freezing griddles that look like crepe makers (but obviously sub-zero and not hot!). First, one of the employees pours a milk concoction onto the freezing surface, mixing it around with whatever add-ins are called for. Then, once the liquid has become more of a solid, they smooth it flat with precision. Finally, the rolling begins as the skilled employee uses a sharp tool to scrape the smooth, flat solid ice cream into paper thin rolls. After placing the rolls in the cup, they load with delicious toppings!
"My favorite's the Ferrero, number five, my second favorite would be the Watermelon Lycee. It's definitely very refreshing in this type of weather," Lori recommends.
Juicy Spot Cafe has signature ice cream rolls or the option to build your own. I followed Lori's advice and ordered the Ferrero, and then also tried out the Chocolate Chip Espresso (which they actually used real expresso to make!). The ice cream was delicious with the perfect strong creamy flavor of regular ice cream but without feeling so weighed down after eating it. The rolls tasted creamier and lighter.
Juicy Spot Cafe rolled ice cream was inspired by the Thai syle ice cream that can be found in restaurants and sold by street vendors in Thailand. Lori is a dedicated founder, helping add toppings to some of the ice cream cups, greeting customers as they walk in and leave. She was hands-on, and her passion showed.
"It's been a pretty cool ride. The most rewarding part is definitely seeing the smile and the happiness of the customer when they get their ice cream. I think we have such a good team here and we all work very well together so I'm very happy with the way things are going."