FAILING my way into my business

The plan was always to have vanilla soft serve however I only had the budget and enough space in my 1970’s Thomas Glen trailer for one flavour of soft-serve ice cream. Perhaps, I would disappoint some chocolate lovers but I had to pick one. I had a vision, I knew I could make “just plain” vanilla soft serve stand out! Simple, just make ice cream creations that I would want to eat. As a mobile business, I knew I was going to have some unique obstacles to figure out along the way but one thing I knew for sure was vanilla soft serve was the perfect canvas for showcasing some of Chatham-Kent’s world-class local fresh produce and goods.

However, my original plan was to make the soft serve mixture from SCRATCH. All I had was an idea for better quality soft serve ice cream and the salesman saying, “It can be done!”.

I had no idea what I was doing but I found a recipe online for homemade ice cream that used heavy cream and honey I was hoping to decrease the amount of sugar and increase the fat. I tested the recipe using two zip lock bags, salt and ice not quite the same thing as the Electro Freeze soft serve machine I had purchased. It worked and the ice cream tasted good thus I niavly thought I was good to go. Not even close, looking back I was just straight up, delusional! But at the time I just kept going.

I was told I would need at least ten quarts of soft-serve ice cream solution “mixture” in order to get the soft serve machine set up and running. To gain a little perspective, I was cracking and separating the yolk from egg whites for approximately FOURTY eggs for one batch ten-quart batch. Once the ice cream solution is put into my machine it takes about ten minutes for the machine to make ice cream. LONGEST 10 minutes of my life. I hear the voice of Craig the serviceman who is installing my ice cream machine “Well, we have ice cream”. Not exactly what you want to hear. The ice cream was coming out like playdough, the mixer was shutting off because the ice cream was too cold, the ice cream didn’t look or taste like ice cream. Certainly not better quality soft serve ice cream. Did I mention it was August? The number of summer days to sell ice creams were melting away fast.

I learned very quickly that commercial soft serve machines need to have the right amount of fat and sugar to make soft-serve ice cream. It was a science and there was far more involved that I wanted to take on as first-time business owner.

Here’s the take away….What did I do after this BIG FAILURE? I stood back up and I kept going. I figured out! Today I purchase my ice cream solution from Jersey Dairy in Wallaceburg and couldn’t be happier with this decision. Simply put, not all vanilla soft serve ice cream is created equally. I know now that I can make choices, as a business owner that ensures my customers are getting the quality experience with Bowl of Cream,

*For my 2019 season I used fresh produce and goods from local businesses such as Park’s Blueberries, Jennen Strawberries Farm, Dalhaven Orchards, Pardo’s Berrie Farm and Deb owner/operator of Big Ricky’s Bakery supplied me with all my baked goods. Bowl of Cream ice cream creations wouldn’t be what they are without the local products and goods.