Talk about a success story.
Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream is officially opened their second store this Sunday in The Zone, Rosebank. The store has been trading since mid-December. You may have heard Paul’s story a few times, but if not here’s a quick recap. Or the quickest recap I can make of a long, interesting life journey.
Paul’s dad, artist Roger Ballen, is from New York and Paul grew up visiting New York with his family. Fond memories of eating really good soft serve ice cream while walking through the streets of Manhattan and or on beach front strolls stuck with the future entrepreneur. Growing up Paul started developing an appreciation for food and flavours as the South African palette developed and more exotic ingredients became available. Anyone else remember Aynsley Harriot shimmying over jerk chicken on Ready, Steady, Cook and then Googling plantains? Me too.
After getting a small ice cream machine as a gift, Paul experimented on a few batches and shared his creations on Twitter. Pretty soon he was delivering ice cream as gifts to family and friends until he actually had to charge. Because like many good things in life, ice cream costs money. Fast forward through starting a business during university, packed ice-cream days in the Ballen’s back yard (I’m talking queues down suburban streets just to walk in), corporate identity redesigns and purchasing semi-industrial machines- and Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream was becoming really big!
Paul’s Homemade likes to play with experimental flavours and unique ice cream concepts. I mean, just the standard flavours include fun concoctions like Birthday Cake, Cookies n Cream and my personal favourite, Dolce de Leche. The special flavours are a smorgasbord of unexpected creations and classics with a twist; think Pistachio & Honey, Fresh Strawberry and Mint Chocolate versus Green Tea, White Russian and Milk Stout & Molasses. There’s even an offering for the health conscious, a collab with fitness blogger Caraliscious lead to a banting selection with sugar-free varieties and alternative ingredients like carob nibs. So skinny bitches can have fun too.
The brand stocks boutique cafés and restaurants like Wolves, Love Food and high-end grocers like Thrupps. Last year Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream opened their first store in Melville’s weekend hotspot 27 Boxes but the spot in Rosebank has been on the cards for a while. Paul’s is focussing on creating cool spaces and in-store experience for ice-cream lovers as part of a journey to develop a local ice cream culture. A kind of culture I will happily buy and bite into.