By DEBBIE FLESSNER
When the Wizba family saw a rolled ice cream shop up in Ohio several years ago, they were intrigued.
So much so that Tim bought one of the commercial grade machines used to make them and installed it in his home in Osprey. His wife Christina graciously allowed the machine to stay, while Tim, his son Jadon and his daughter Sierra learned how to use it. After a little more than two-and-a-half years, they felt they were ready to start selling their frozen treats to the public.
“It was a step-by-step process,” Tim said. “I’ve always worked in service businesses, and owning a place like this was a part of my bucket list. We first had to set up systems and procedures, but we figured that we are a close knit family, and if just doing this together for a little while was it, that would be OK.”
About seven months ago, Tim, Jadon (21) and Sierra (19) opened Crystal Cream Rolls, in Osprey. Rolled ice cream is the newest frozen dessert sensation from Thailand. During the process, a thin layer of creamy base is spread on a frozen surface, mixed with numerous ingredients (if desired) and then scraped at an angle to create the rolls, which are then delicately placed into cups and adorned with fresh toppings.
When the lucky recipient’s spoon is first dipped into the rolls, the ice cream is firm, but after the bite hits the tongue, it dissolves into creamy deliciousness.
Jadon said that even though there was not another rolled ice cream shop in the Osprey/Venice area, they still wanted to do something to make Crystal Cream stand out a little more.
“The uniqueness of the business is one of the things we liked, but when we looked at this concept, we wanted to make it our own,” he said. “So we decided to use fresh, local ingredients and organic dairy products from Dakin Dairy. Nothing we use has any commercial stabilizers, emulsifiers or preservatives.”
Using their “fresh and natural” basis, the Wizbas came up with a basic menu that they continue to add to, sometimes on the recommendations of their customers. Peanut Butter Cup, with old fashioned ice cream, Reese’s mini cups, Nutter Butter cookies, Chocolate Pocky sticks, homemade whipped cream and chocolate drizzle, was actually requested by Crystal Cream’s very first customer.
Each of the ice cream creations begins with a base of vanilla-bean vanilla, old fashioned vanilla or chocolate. To that, fresh fruit and other ingredients are chopped and mixed in. The process takes about four minutes to complete, and because of the wide open workspace in the kitchen, customers can get an up-close view of all the action.
Jadon says that he and Sierra have not only gained a lot of business experience by going into partnership with their father, but social interaction with those customers has actually helped to determine the direction of the shop.
“During the process (of making the rolls), you have a lot of interaction with the customers, and it’s more of an enjoyable experience for all of us,” he said. “That’s how we ended up with Boba Tea on the menu.”
Crystal Cream offers about six different flavors of freshly brewed teas, which can be purchased as is or in “bubble tea” form, with cream, tapioca balls and other ingredients.
The family is still experimenting, coming up with new flavors all the time, but say that it’s important to stay within their fresh and natural parameters, as well as making sure that the creamy texture of the rolls is not affected by certain ingredients.
Sierra said that like her father and brother, she is enjoying working with her family to create something special for the Osprey/Venice community.
“We’re just so thankful that everyone here has been so great to us,” she said. “When they taste our ice cream, they really seem to love it.”