okay let’s do this okay

So, we put out a survey a few days ago, partly so we could figure out what our strategy for this fall/winter is going to be. And right after we posted the survey, it got a bit colder; thanks for the free market research, weather patterns! Things Mrs. Parlour has observed this week:

  • People will still buy ice cream when it’s cold and rainy. They’re much more likely to buy it if there’s somewhere close by and warm to take said ice cream.
  • No one wants soda or floats when it’s cold and rainy, but a few people want milkshakes. But only a few.
  • People DEFINITELY want hot chocolate when it’s cold and rainy, even if we accidentally write the wrong price on the menu board and it appears to be more expensive than it actually is.

It’s going to be warm again tomorrow, but the past few days have been helpful in figuring out how to keep stuff going in the fall/wintertime. When it gets for-real cold again, we’re thinking of switching out our milkshakes and floats for hot chocolate, chai, and cider. We’ll probably have a smaller ice cream menu, and more cookies and baked goods (like Ari Berenbaum’s donuts!) And we’ll try to think of some interesting ways to incorporate our ice cream into hot drinks (a customer suggested a scoop on top of hot chocolate instead of whipped cream, which seems like a great idea.)

So, what do you think? Any suggestions for how we can stay busy in the wintertime? Know any offices that would like a mid-afternoon hot chocolate and cookie break? Let us know!

4 replies
  1. Aaron says:

    The Girl gave me grief for not mentioning “Gluten free bakery sweets” when I took your survey. “Don’t you *ever* think of me?” she said. So I’m mentioning it now. Gluten free bakery sweets. Such as French chocolate macarons, brownies, etc. Locally sourced would be great too!

  2. Aaron says:

    Hi again. Awesomer and awesomer. I’m totally getting cred with her for passing on the idea.

    The gluten free market niche is interesting. Passionate people, who have a huge need met by very few business and are willing to pay a price differential. So if done right you are both a) serving a need in the community and b) making a reasonable profit. And building a loyal customer base. The question is whether the total demand is there to sustain it. It might be a matter of getting the word out and becoming known for this without sacrificing your core vision as the wandering ice cream truck.

    What are the other GF options in Durham? Don’t know of any. Zen Cat GF Bakery in Greensboro might be a good source (look them up).

    Great to see your entrepreneurial spirit! Keep it up peeps.

  3. Nina says:

    (My first Parlour post!!)
    When I was in Spain one summer during college, we were obsessed with something served at a lot of cafes called “blanco y negro.” Basically just very strong coffee poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. (I was going to write “a scoop or two” but then I realized in Europe it would definitely have been one modest scoop. In the U.S. it would be a scoop or two or five…)
    We started making them in the college dining hall, with bad dining hall coffee and ice cream plus a drizzle of chocolate syrup (not in the Spanish original).
    Perhaps a winter ice cream idea??

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