Tue | Nov 30, 2021

Great taste and happiness rolled into one

Tai Tai Ice Cream Roll Café ‘mix-in’ up goodness at Orchid Village location

Published:Thursday | June 3, 2021 | 12:15 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Tai Tai staff is ready to welcome you. From left: Kiwayne Bennett, Kendra Carberry-Walters, Javier Mendoza, and Brandi-Lee Parchment.
Tai Tai staff is ready to welcome you. From left: Kiwayne Bennett, Kendra Carberry-Walters, Javier Mendoza, and Brandi-Lee Parchment.
The MangoSop is authentically Jamaican with its unique flavour blend, natural sugars, and guess what? it’s also non-dairy.
The MangoSop is authentically Jamaican with its unique flavour blend, natural sugars, and guess what? it’s also non-dairy.
Celebrating another year around the sun, then Tai Tai’s birthday cake creation is the right pick for you.
Celebrating another year around the sun, then Tai Tai’s birthday cake creation is the right pick for you.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try the Toasted S’mores Ice Cream Roll.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try the Toasted S’mores Ice Cream Roll.
For anyone with a passion for ice cream, this one’s for you.
For anyone with a passion for ice cream, this one’s for you.
Celebrating her birthday, Tai Tai customer Joan Johnson enjoys the swings on the outside.
Celebrating her birthday, Tai Tai customer Joan Johnson enjoys the swings on the outside.
Tai Tai’s Kiwayne Bennett puts all his positive energy and strength into blending the mango and soursop.
Tai Tai’s Kiwayne Bennett puts all his positive energy and strength into blending the mango and soursop.
It takes a certain skill and level of patience to get the ice cream into neat rolls.
It takes a certain skill and level of patience to get the ice cream into neat rolls.
A smooth, creamy, and chocolatey base gets things rolling.
A smooth, creamy, and chocolatey base gets things rolling.
Tai Tai has a wide variety of cookies.
Tai Tai has a wide variety of cookies.
The hand-rolled ice cream is all rolled up.
The hand-rolled ice cream is all rolled up.
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Tai Tai Ice Cream Roll Café is letting the good times roll at their new location at Orchid Village Plaza on Barbican Road, and they are looking to spread happiness and their special hand-rolled ice cream, which includes a number of mix-ins and toppings.

“People don’t consume ice cream out of necessity. They consume it because it gives them pleasure. It triggers the hormone that makes them feel good, and in a world such as this where life can get so hard or overwhelming sometimes (especially during current times), everyone deserves a little happiness,” Kendra Carberry-Walters, founder and managing director of Tai Tai Ice Cream Roll Café, told Food.

She added, “Happiness played a key role in my decision to bring Tai Tai to life, [so] we felt it was very important for the brand to be centred around that.”

Hand-rolled ice cream became a popular street treat in Thailand in 2009, and the trend quickly picked up pace over three years across Asian countries. Tai Tai Ice Cream Roll Café’s hand-rolled ice cream is freshly made every day with real milk and creams (rather than pre-made powdered mixes), fruits, nuts, and other ingredients, some of which are made from scratch in-store. Carberry-Walters is very keen on how it should be done, carefully guiding her staff as they get rolling.

Tai Tai Ice Cream Roll Café is able to customise each cup according to the particular dietary preferences or restrictions of the customer. “Therefore, we can make ice cream that is vegan, gluten-free, and of low sugar, low carbohydrates, and low calories. Everyone should be able to enjoy this treat,” Carberry-Walters said.

Carberry-Walters — who says she has travelled and tasted other ice creams but not rolls — shared that she comes from a long line of confectioners and ice cream lovers. “I come from a family of ice cream lovers on both my parents’ sides. In fact, I was told my paternal grandmother’s father used to make and sell ice cream the old-fashioned way in St Mary. It has been a part of me from before I was born, and my intention is to carve out my own space in the market, she said, adding that “what I’m building is not just your typical ice cream business. That’s my reason for avoiding comparisons with other brands,” she said.

Formerly in Northside Plaza, the new location is definitely giving the Tai Tai Ice Cream Roll Café more visibility, easier access, and the opportunity to reach more people. “Our loyal customers are back and happy, but we are receiving a good number of customers who have never tried our product as well,” said Carberry-Walters.

CREATING FOND MEMORIES

It has only been one month since its reopening, but she is confident that her business is helping to create precious new memories for families. The managing director could talk for days about fond memories bonding over ice cream as a child, and knowing that families are coming into the café and doing the same gives her a sense of fulfilment. “At Tai Tai, the experience is just as important as the product. We already know we have a great product, but our goal, and motto, actually, is to create the ultimate ‘happy place’, and it’s going to take more than just an amazing product to do that,” she said. “Once customers step into the space, they should enter their ‘happy place’, and wherever they consume their Tai Tai should do the same,” she continued.

The location is spacious and features outdoor swings and a dreamcatcher lounge chair on the inside where customers can relax while indulging in their choice of speciality, hand-rolled ice cream. There are approximately 20 topping options and about the same number of mix-ins, with the sweet and tangy passionfruit being one of the latest additions.

Carberry-Walters shared: “We call it a mix-in rather than a flavour because our toppings, once mixed into our ice-cream base, can create flavours as well, [so] the possibilities are endless. We can literally add anything to our ice cream, and while mix-ins and toppings create the flavour, combining several of them creates new flavours altogether. A good example of this is our signature combo called the MangoSop, which is mango and soursop combined, and it is a popular pick of customers.”

Other delicious mixes include the Mixed Berry, Strawberry Cheesecake, Cookie Monster, and the Toasted S’More. Also, for the month of June, there is a special on Pistachio Matcha ice cream rolls. The space and ice-cream options aren’t the only things getting magnified. The menu has been widened to include a variety of sweet and savoury brunch and desserts items such as wraps, pancakes, waffles, cookies, gourmet marshmallows, and brownies, which are available all day, as well as beverages such as the signature sparkling fruit refreshers and a hot chocolate with toasted gourmet marshmallow on top. “Like I said before, people should feel an immediate sense of joy, peace, and euphoria when entering our new Tai Tai Ice Cream Roll Café. In fact, one of our goals is to ensure that every customer leaves the store feeling better than they did before they arrived,” Carberry-Walters said.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com