A new ice cream shop is rolling into Highlandtown later this summer.
Jason Werner and Jessica Reyes are opening Roll: Ice Cream Social at 3222 Eastern Ave. The shop will offer rolled ice cream, a method in which liquid ice cream is poured and frozen a cold surface, mixed with toppings, pressed flat and rolled into tubes with a scraper.
Born in Southeast Asia, rolled ice cream is a trendy take on a traditional dessert that Werner and Reyes discovered in New York.
Roll will partner with South Mountain Creamery in Middletown for its dairy, and look to source local ingredients for toppings. Werner said the shop will serve 10 to 12 flavors to start, such as mint chocolate chip and “monkey business,” which incorporates bananas, caramel and walnuts. It will also offer a build-your-own option.
After starting with an approachable base of flavors, they will consider adding more adventurous flavors, Werner said.
“You can get pretty wild with the flavors,” he said. “I’ve had cotton candy with tapioca pearls.”
Each serving will cost about $7, Werner said.
The Highlandtown storefront at the corner of Bouldin Street previously housed Bolewicki's Appliance Center. Werner bought the building this year and is renovating it in anticipation of a late summer opening.
Werner and Reyes live nearby and wanted to bring the concept to their neighborhood.
“We knew we wanted to stay close to home,” he said. “It’s a great area.”
Reyes, who is leaving her post as assistant director of Towson University’s Writing Center, will manage the shop day-to-day. Werner will retain his position as a principal of Opus Media, a local marketing agency.
Werner said he appreciates the “dinner-and-a-show aspect” of rolled ice cream, but that can also lead to long wait times for customers.
“It’s just as much about eating the product as it is about [watching it] being made,” he said.
It takes three to five minutes to make each serving of ice cream. He’s hoping to cut down on the wait time by having four or five machines.
The shop will also offer coffee and handmade seltzers.
“The ice cream social aspect of it came out of the idea that we’d like to provide a social atmosphere,” Werner said.
While Roll may be the only rolled ice cream shop opening in Southeast Baltimore, it isn’t the only new frozen dessert destination coming to Eastern Avenue. Bmore Licks, a shop that will offer more than 100 flavors of soft-serve made to order, is opening less than a mile away at 2437 Eastern Ave.
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