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New ice cream business rolls into town

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Bella Richards of new ice cream business Mix + Roll (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)
Bella Richards of new ice cream business Mix + Roll (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)
Rolled ice cream in a cup (Photograph supplied)
Rolled ice cream in a waffle taco (Photograph supplied)

A new frozen dessert experience just rolled into Hamilton.

Ice cream trailer Mix + Roll opened on Saturday, in the parking lot across from 55 Front Street.

“The opening weekend was a great success with only a few hiccups with our network going down on Sunday,” owner Bella Richards said. In fact, she sold out of ice cream her first few days in operation.

Mix + Roll sells freshly made ice cream that is rolled rather than scooped. Ice cream quarters is a small trailer that will remain in the spot for the summer.

“The recipe is based on traditional Thai rolled ice cream where the cream is poured on a cold plate and freezes within a minute or two, which allows you to mix in any fruit, cookies or flavouring,” Ms Richards explained. “It is all custom made for that person. It is really good.”

The ice cream is made with sweetened condensed milk, with flavourings ranging from fresh fruits to cookies, Nutella or peanut butter. There are also keto, gluten free and vegan options, and customers can have their ice cream in a waffle taco or in a cup.

“It makes it easy to walk around with and eat,” Ms Richards said.

They have ten standard flavours so far, and will be launching six speciality flavours later this month.

Ms Richards first learnt about rolled ice cream when a video about it popped up on her YouTube feed four years ago. She was captivated by the ice cream rolling process.

“When I saw it I thought this could be cool in Bermuda,” she said.

But at that time she was working 9am to 5pm, in marketing and did not pursue the idea.

When the pandemic erupted over a year ago, she was at home taking care of her son.

“The pandemic gave me a pause,” she said. “I had been out of work for a while and was raising my baby. I was craving ice cream all the time, and thinking, I wish there was some rolled ice cream here, or some nice novelty ice cream shop in Bermuda, that was not so far away from where we were in Warwick.”

She remembered her ice cream business idea, and started to research what ingredients she would need and how to get the necessary machines.

“That was the start of it,” she said. “I knew when the pandemic happened that I wanted to get my hands dirty and do something myself.”

She found making the cream to be creative and satisfying.

“Figuring out the ice cream was actually the easiest part because I could practice making it,” Ms Richards said.

The hardest thing, for her, about launching Mix + Roll, has been dealing with permit and paperwork delays. The process was all new to her.

“It took a while for the trailer to arrive,” Ms Richards said. “There have been a lot of hoops to jump through. I have had the location on Front Street since last year, but have only just gotten all my ducks in a row now.”

And she said Covid-19 meant that many officials who could answer questions or help with paperwork during the process were not in the office.

The Corporation of Hamilton plans to slide in another semimobile vendor next to her in the near future, and then erect shade for customers.

To learn more about running a business, she joined the Ignite business accelerator programme last September.

“Ignite helped me to formalise my business and help me put together a strategy,” she said. “It also helped me to create a network with other entrepreneurs and test my product out on them. They were there from the beginning hearing about the product. They were the first ones to try it and give me feedback.”

She met with her Ignite mentor, Laura Lyons, on a weekly basis to talk out her challenges and celebrate her successes, no matter how small.

When Covid-19 restrictions ease more, Ms Richards hopes to cater to parties and community events.

For now, Mix + Roll is open Monday to Thursday from 1pm to 6pm and Friday and Saturday from 1pm to 7pm, and on Sunday from 1pm to 6pm.

The price of a standard flavour is $6 for a small ice cream in a cup, $8 for a regular in a cup, $7.50 for a small ice cream in a waffle taco and $10 for a regular ice cream in a waffle taco. Specialty flavours, and extra toppings cost more.

Credit card and cash payments are accepted.

For more information see www.mixandrollbda.com or follow them on Instagram and Facebook @mixandrollbda.

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Published June 02, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated June 03, 2021 at 8:09 am)

New ice cream business rolls into town

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