|Mango ice cream with mango and strawberry mix-ins ($6)|
Scoop n Roll is a relatively new food truck (more like trailer) parked front and center of the Namao Canadian Tire on 96 ST and 162 Avenue. It sounds like it would be a very random location, but it seems to be working for them considering the crowd of people who came by on the Friday evening they were open. Their operating hours are a bit inconsistent, but they are quite good at informing ice cream fans of when they will be open via social media (cc: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook).
The concept of ice cream rolls made fresh before your eyes is not new, having originated in the street markets of Thailand. The process takes a couple of minutes for each order as an ice cream base is poured onto a frozen surface, mixed around with toppings of your choice until the liquid mixture becomes icy and solid. When it reaches the desired consistency, the ice cream is spread into a flat rectangle, and then rolled up quickly with a metal spatula.
Here at Scoop n Roll, you have a choice of various ice cream flavours (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, banana, mango, pineapple, pistachio, nutella, green tea, and coffee) and your choice of 2 free mix-in's (strawberry, banana, mango, pineapple, blueberry, oreo, chocolate chips, mint chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, Reese's, m&m's, marshmallows, almonds, and sprinkles). Each unique cup is yours for $6.00 (they've raised the price as it used to be only $5 each). Additional mix-ins are $0.50 each. At the time, they were also offering premium mix-in's including honeycomb, cheesecake, and ferrero rocher.
Ordering was a bit confusing as there didn't seem to be a line, just a bunch of people milling about and waiting. I think to improve things, especially for new customers who don't know, they should at least have signs that say "order here" and/or "pick-up here."
Basically, you order at the right side of the window where a laminated menu is taped to the side of the truck. One of the staff members takes down your order, collects money, and preps it, while another guy (the unsung hero of the truck) is hard at work preparing all of the ice cream rolls. This guy deserves a raise basically.
Because all of the orders are made fresh and there is only a single frozen surface with one designated staff member making them, the wait can be pretty long especially if there is a large crowd of people with orders in front of you. We waited basically an hour and 10 minutes for our ice cream rolls. I repeat, an hour and 10 minutes. My tip would be to either arrive when they first open, or at least come with a friend or two to chat with. Maybe bring a chair and a book if you're coming solo.
|Green tea ice cream with almond mix-in ($6.00)|
Scoop n Roll has a great thing going on right now, but I think in order for them to capitalize on their popularity, they should look into building another frozen contraption on their trailer to meet up with the demand. If that's not possible, another suggestion I'd make is that in order to keep track of orders, and to ensure that the right person receives the correct cup when they call them out, they should implement Starbuck's policy of grabbing names, or even better, a numbering system like they do at deli counters. That way, customers would also know what place in line they are in and how long of a wait they should expect.
Funny story: a middle-aged lady who was in line for 15 minutes (at most!) complained and asked when her order would be ready just as we were getting ours. They couldn't say since most of the people ahead of her had been waiting a long time already. They asked, "how long have you been waiting for?" Her reply: "A while." She reminded me of one of those "mom" customers who always asks to speak to the manager. You know the type. After getting told that there were 14 orders ahead of her, the staff gave the lady a refund and she went on her merry way without any ice cream. Moral of the story: be patient, be kind, and you will be rewarded.