After a successful run so far in Highlandtown, Jason Werner and Jessica Reyes are expanding their eye-catching ice cream operation to downtown.
Roll Ice Cream and Coffee, which debuted on Eastern Avenue in December 2017 against the odds of cold-weather season, is opening a second location at Mt. Vernon Marketplace this Saturday.
“The relationship made a lot of sense to us,” Werner said in an email. “We saw an opportunity within the Mt. Vernon neighborhood to bring them delicious, fresh-made ice cream, and we view the Mt. Vernon Marketplace is the cornerstone of fast-casual food options in the neighborhood.”
Roll’s thing is rolled ice cream, a street-food innovation from Southeast Asia that’s spread to the U.S. in recent years. Instead of scooping or twisting the confection out, it entails a several-minute process of pouring a cream or milk base, with assorted ingredients mixed in, onto a very cold slab and then scraping and rolling it up to be served in tube-like form in a cup or cone (or in Roll’s case, a waffle taco).
Werner said customers often at first feel some “trepidation” when they approach the counter, but “really have that first ah-ha moment when they see how we make the ice cream, and the second when they experience our ice cream itself.”
Roll has more than 3,500 combinations of ingredients, which could keep you busy deciding. Specialties include the sweet-and-salty Couch Surfer, which has potato chips and caramel popcorn mixed into chocolate ice cream, or Matcha Made in Heaven, with cheesecake bites and graham crackers rolled into matcha ice cream and topped with white chocolate drizzle.
The business also serves coffee drinks made with goods from Union Collective’s Vent Coffee Roasters.
The grand opening is this Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. Werner said they’ll be located in stall HH, across from Cholita’s Tacos.