Author: Belmonte Catering
Category: Rolly's Ice Cream
Date: 30 August 2023

About Rolly’s Ice Cream

From bridge building to ice-cream rolling, the man behind Rolly’s Ice Cream tells us more about his journey in bringing this Thai inspired quirky sweet treat to Edinburgh…..and we’re sure glad he did!

Please tell us a bit about yourself (your background / career) and most importantly, where and how you discovered ‘rolled’ ice-cream?

Interestingly enough, I was an engineer before I took the leap into the street food business. Graduated with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering in 2015 and worked a couple engineering jobs, most notably would be the 2 years I spent working on the Queensferry Crossing. However, working as an engineer just didn’t motivate me as much as I thought it would and as the bridge neared completion, I knew it was time to make an important decision on what I wanted to do next. This is really how the idea for starting Rolly’s began.

As for how I discovered rolled ice cream, this was something I had seen a few years ago whilst in Thailand, but to be honest I didn’t think anything of it at the time. It wasn’t until a couple years after, videos began to surface on the internet and I found myself on YouTube spending hours watching people making rolled ice cream around the world.

When did you have the light bulb moment to introduce this fantastic concept to the people of Edinburgh?

I would have to say it was down to my older Brother who started doing his own street food business (Smokin’ Bros) with his mate and it really got me thinking. It was at a time when work on the bridge was slowing down and redundancy was imminent, and I really knew that I didn’t want to pursue a career as an engineer anymore, so it really was time to think of other options. This is when I began looking into rolled ice cream as a business and doing a little market research to see if there was anyone else doing this in the area and also where the hell I would buy one of these machines from. I soon found a supplier and after a little persuasion from my girlfriend I decided to place the order for a machine and began working on getting the logo and branding sorted.

Tell us about the journey so far……your biggest and most exciting challenges you’ve overcome.

It definitely hasn’t been an easy journey so far, that’s for sure. My first event was at the end of August last year which was an absolute sell out in a few hours which was an incredible way to start the business. However, since it was the end of August I really missed the whole of Summer which meant that every event I had after that got progressively worse simply because it was getting colder. Winter was particularly tough (as expected), I had a few events over December/January and to try sell the ice cream I was trying different approaches like adding hot desserts, so I was baking Yule Logs and Sticky Toffee Pudding to serve warm along with the ice cream rolls. But, even with these additions it was still tough and just got me praying for warmer weather, so I can go back to selling my regular menu.

This story is an extract from an interview in Hidden Edinburgh. read the whole interview on their website (Opens in a new tab).