By Catherine McLaughlin, Columnist
Downtown Greenville welcomed a new addition to its up and coming food scene on Friday, February 24th with the long-awaited opening of Creme Shack. Located at the former Chocolate Moose on Main Street, Creme Shack hand-crafts and serves the newest dessert trend — rolled ice cream.
Creme Shack creates and serves 12 featured creations and also gives customers the liberty to create their own dessert from the 15 base flavors and nearly 40 toppings.
The process of making rolled ice cream begins by placing various ingredients on a cold griddle, ranging from negative 15 to negative 25 degrees. Next, freshly made cream is poured on top of the ingredients. This begins a process of chopping ingredients, mixing them into the cream and forming the ice cream with the help of small metal paddles. In order to create five even rolls, the cream is spread evenly across the griddle before it is rolled. This process, which takes two to four minutes, happens at the counter behind glass so that customers can see each of their creations being made.
The concept of rolled ice cream was first created in Thailand by a man who used dry ice and a marble slab to create the treat. His idea was well-received and a year later, Thailand had 1,400 locations serving rolled ice cream. This twist on ice cream has gradually made its way to the United States. Most locations serving the dessert are generally found in large cities with sizable Asian populations. The small city of Greenville is an exception.
Creme Shack is owned and operated by Karen and Fred Williams, who have been in the Greenville food industry for more than 30 years. Upon retirement, the couple was in search of their next venture. Their daughter suggested the idea of rolled ice cream. They first tested the idea in a mobile trailer in Panama City Beach, Florida. Their success selling the treat out of the trailer led them to open their own shop in downtown Greenville, just in time for the warmer spring and summer weather.
Since its opening, everyone in Greenville has wanted to take part in experiencing this new trend in ice cream.
Furman student Barrie Clarke praised the shop. “Creme Shack is my new go-to ice cream place!” she said. “It’s definitely taking the place of the frozen yogurt craze.”
While rolled ice cream offers a fun, unique spin on the treat, Creme Shack has received mixed reviews. Though its long lines and waits speak to its popularity and success, some customers wonder whether it is worth the wait or the hefty price of nearly eight dollars per order. Greenville will have to see whether this is a temporary fad or a permanent addition to the downtown.
Creme Shack is open seven days a week, Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m.to 11:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.