Ice cream dreams
By Laura Aiken
The fridge in my first apartment was stocked with nothing but Coke, OJ
and ice cream. I was 17 and working in a pizzeria, enjoying a teenager’s
dream diet of pizza, subs and the aforementioned contents of my
The fridge in my first apartment was stocked with nothing but Coke, OJ and ice cream. I was 17 and working in a pizzeria, enjoying a teenager’s dream diet of pizza, subs and the aforementioned contents of my inaugural fridge.
While the contents of my kitchen have expanded to reflect my hobby of cooking, which I’ve grown to love, pizza and ice cream are still real staples. I don’t know which I crave more, but they remind me at once of being a kid and of having that first taste of freedom. I’m sure I’m not alone in finding the power of these two foods to be comforting and nostalgic. This is why, in my opinion, they make a great pair!
If you’re thinking ice cream might be a smart way to lure more customers to your door in the challenging summer months, when backyard barbecues become your rival, turn to page 16 for our story featuring interviews with some operators who have already added this delectable dairy to their lineup. What works well in one pizzeria won’t work in another, so it’s important to treat your store as an individual when considering adding this treat to your menu.
Ice cream, like pizza, can unleash your imagination, as it’s malleable in its many combinations. And, also like the pizza on your menu, you’ll probably want to look at offering some staples to appeal to everyone and some that fit the character of your store. Whether you tap a producer or make it homemade will depend on how you want to differentiate as well as cost and time, of course. But you may want to focus on which flavours you offer and which maker you work with as a way to distinguish yourself from your competitors.
Perhaps ask yourself, “What’s the personality of my pizzeria, as well as my own character, as driver of the business?”
This kind of brainstorming may lead you to develop and present ice cream in your store that is signature to you.
Canadians have a strong tradition of making ice cream. Here are a couple of interesting ice cream facts from an article written by H. Douglas Goff, a professor of dairy science and technology at the University of Guelph. There is a lot of folklore about the invention of ice cream, but he found these facts. Thomas Webb, a confectioner in Toronto, was the first Canadian to start selling ice cream, which happened around 1850. William Nielson made his first commercial batch of ice cream on Gladstone Avenue in Toronto in 1893. Nielson’s company produced ice cream at that location for nearly 100 years. No wonder ice cream prompts such wistfulness.
For more great ideas to boost summer sales, turn to Diana Coutu’s column on page 22, where she shares a great scratch card promotion that helps her each year and Tom Stankiewicz’s back page discussion on deciding to become a food vendor at local summer festivals.