There’s a Science Behind the Way They Make This Thai-Inspired Ice Cream in Fountain Valley

This Thai-Styled Ice Cream Gives a New Spin on an Old Favorite

Written By: Susan Krupa
Photographed By: Ed Visions Rollin’ Creamery

Expert: Paulina and Josh Lackey
Credentials: Owners of Rollin’ Creamery
Power Couple: The Lackey were the first locals to bring this Thai-style ice cream to Orange County.

When Paulina and Josh Lackey got married, they quit their jobs and took off on their honeymoon for nine months. Nearly one year and 19 countries later, they returned to the US with more than just a great Instagram feed; they came home with dreams of starting a business.

While visiting Thailand, they first learned about and tried rolled ice cream, something they had never seen in America. The idea is something not commonly found in the United States: take a single serving of a liquid ice cream base and pour it on a freezing metal pan. Add whatever toppings you’d like and then mix it vigorously with metal paddles while the mixture freezes. Once frozen, using the metal paddles, the ice cream is peeled off the pan in thin layers that naturally roll up. Take a few of these ice cream rolls, put them in a cup, add some more toppings if you’d like, and voilà, you have Thai-style rolled ice cream. This variation on the chilly treat has spread like wildfire throughout Thailand and Asia and has now made its way to Orange County with the Lackeys’ unique ice cream shop: Rollin’ Creamery in Fountain Valley.

It’s not your typical ice cream shop. Nothing is pre-made. There is not an array of different flavors laid out in a freezer for you to select from. In fact, there isn’t any ice cream at all—there are just three metal pans waiting for the next order. Instead of pointing to the scoop you want, you order off a menu of different combinations of flavors and mix-ins that have been tried and tested. Once an order is placed, the staff goes into action creating quite a ruckus with the metal paddles mixing and churning the liquid cream until it is ready to be made into the delicate rolls of frozen goodness. It is truly a sight to behold. The result is both unique and delightful. But how Paulina and Josh went from honeymooners to small business owners is a story as interesting as the ice cream they are selling.

Q: How long did it take to go from concept to opening?

Josh Lackey: We came back from traveling in August of 2015 and officially opened Rollin’ Creamery in January 2017. We came back after being gone for nine months with no jobs and no money and wanting to start a business. It was very difficult to convince people to help us with something they had never heard of. We were showing them the concept and pictures but with no luck until we finally found a location that would work with us.

Q: How do you explain the style of ice cream you sell at Rollin’ Creamery?

Paulina Lackey: It’s Thai-style rolled ice cream. We take our fresh mixture of cream and add their toppings, freeze it in front of them and it turns into ice cream. Then we roll it up.

JL: It’s an ingenious idea for the night markets that are common in Thailand. If you want to sell ice cream and have a wide variety of flavors, you can’t bring out huge tubs of ice cream and scoop them out. So with this, you can make any flavor you want to on the pan as needed.

Q: What flavors do they have in Thailand?

PL: Very similar to here. Lots of tropical flavors of course but they also have Oreos and stuff there too. So something like cookies ‘n cream is very popular.

JL: Actually the very first Thai rolled ice cream we ordered, I ordered the mango and [Paulina] ordered the Oreo but we ended up getting a combination of both.

PL: It was mango ice cream with Oreos in it—it wasn’t bad, surprisingly!

Q: What’s the difference between ice cream in Thailand and what you are making here?

JL: A lot of the ice cream in Asia, especially at the night markets in Thailand, is powder based. The reason for this is just a matter of refrigeration as having fresh milk is easy to spoil in the heat. That quality is not what we can make here, so we use fresh milk.

Q: What is in the ice cream base that you use here?

PL: It’s an ice cream mixture that we have created specifically for the store.

In any case, it’s best experienced in person so you can watch the milk being frozen and turned into neat rolls. It is truly culinary artistry at its finest and most delicious.

Rollin’ Creamery
17908 1/2 Magnolia St
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
714.203.7021 Rollin’ Creamery

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