There are plenty of ice-cream establishments, waffle spots, candy shops, and gourmet bakeries around Metro Vancouver—but it’s rare to find a place that offers all of the above.
Sweets-lovers in the city, brace yourselves. A one-of-a-kind candy and frozen-treats store is preparing for its debut—just imagine if Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory magically merged with Riverdale’s Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe.
Yum Ice Creamery and Sweet Shop (affectionately known as Yum) located at 4150 Main Street is scheduled to open later this spring. The mastermind behind this highly anticipated dessert and candy parlour is Michael Gorenstein, who previously worked in a local family-owned retail business for 25 years before branching out on his own.
“I’ve always been a candy and ice cream guy,” Gorenstein told the Straight in an interview at Yum. “I’m a bodybuilder, so it is a bit ironic.”
When the owner shamelessly admitted that he loves sweets and ice cream, you have to believe him. He’s planning on bringing over 200 types of signature candies to his shop, all packaged under the Yum label. “I’ve curated every candy in the shop, from a gummy bear that I think has the best flavour to caramel covered pistachios,” said Gorenstein. “There will be unique products for everybody.”
The treats don’t stop there—guests will also be able to indulge in 16 flavours of Port Moody’s renowned Rocky Point Ice Cream, including two vegan options; homemade rich and creamy soft-serve ice cream; ice-cream sandwiches made with cookies that Gorenstein bakes himself; signature ice-cream floats, milkshakes, and sundaes; and Hong Kong-style bubble waffles, among others. (If your mouth isn’t watering by now, maybe you aren’t a true fan of desserts).
“I found a company from Hong Kong that sold bubble waffle machines, and I created my own recipe,” added Gorenstein. “They will come with fruit and whipping cream in the morning, and ice cream and sauces in the afternoon. I call them bubble waffle sundaes.”
It’s about time this type of decadent establishment that encompasses various types of popular delights opens in Vancouver.
“The concept is that everybody loves sweet treats, and we wanted to create an environment that was fun, inviting, and a little reminiscent of years past when you could go to the corner store to get some candy, or go to the pop shop to get a float,” explained Gorenstein. “I wanted a place where [customers] don’t just come in to buy something and leave, but where it’s a gathering place for the community.”
We have a feeling that guests will enjoy lingering inside the soon-to-open business. The 2,000-square-foot space was formerly occupied by a furniture store, but has been completely renovated from the ground up.
Since the owner has had so much retail and design experience, he knows a thing or two about making Yum’s space look beautiful. Think artisan lamps, gold and blue seats that give a nod to old-fashioned bar stools in a traditional soda fountain shop, wood and tile flooring, and very large yet elegant gold-dusted frames that will hold the menus.
Speaking of menus, Yum’s food items are still being ironed out, but we can give a sneak peek of what sweet tooths can expect. Featured picks include ginger snap cookie ice-cream sandwiches, earl grey and ginger ale ice-cream floats, peanut butter and jelly sundaes, and caramel affogatos (espresso poured over ice cream).
Yum is working on partnering with a local coffee company to create a custom blend, which will pair perfectly with its pastries sourced from other bakeries in the city.
“I think our environment is unique, because I wanted it to be fun. We want everybody to walk into our store and feel welcome, whether you’re six or sixty,” said Gorenstein. “It will remind people of an era that seems like it’s been lost, where it’s about family, friends, good fun, and treats.”
Yum is scheduled to open in early May.