FREDERICTON – Alex Gallant’s life took an unexpected turn when he decided to pass up a busy life of studying medicine in the Caribbean to focus his efforts on a cooler pursuit closer to home.
Rather than uprooting his family from New Brunswick after he was accepted to medical school in the Caribbean, Gallant and his wife Joyce began Delish Gourmet Rolled Ice Cream, first as a food truck a couple of years ago, and then at the more permanent Fredericton location in the downtown Tannery.
“We first saw rolled ice cream about eight years ago in Thailand,” he says, “Then it started trending in the states a couple years ago and we saw it in Vegas and in New York and a few other places so we decided to start doing that to raise some extra money for med school. It just took off.”
Gallant ran the truck across the Maritimes, serving up frozen creations at events like Harvest Jazz and Blues, Canada 150, Ribfest, Atlantic Balloon Fiesta and Evolve.
While the truck was initially a means of raising extra money for Gallant to attend med school, he says they ended up enjoying both the work and the reactions they saw from customers.
“People love it and we wanted to keep going with it because it’s something we really like to do,” he says. “We have two kids so it would be a lot easier than uprooting them and moving them all away to the Caribbean and then bouncing around in the States doing residencies. It’s a better family choice.”
After completing undergrad degrees at the University of New Brunswick and then living in Moncton for a time, he and Joyce considered moving back to Fredericton. The location they found in the Tannery for their shop was the perfect opportunity.
Since opening up the Fredericton location at the end of November, Gallant says things have been rolling smoothly, thanks in part to the reputation they were able to build up by first running the food truck.
“With the rolled ice cream, we knew it was something unique, “ he says. “Everything is fresh, right from scratch, right in front of you and that’s what we wanted to do. We didn’t want to do any repackaged goods. As soon as you order it, that’s your ice cream. You’re getting exactly what you ordered.”
Gallant says they may consider opening additional locations in the future if things continue to go well. He says they’re also considering offering waffle sandwiches as a lunch item but are sticking with desserts for now.
“It just keeps getting busier. People love it and they just keep coming back. As soon as they come once, they come again,” he says.