Soft-serve ice cream can be found all over Greater Vancouver, but it takes certain characteristics for this type of dessert to stand out from the crowd.
DIP Ice Cream (2967 West Broadway) is the latest frozen-treats shop to open in the heart of Kitsilano, nestled between a dollar store and a sushi joint.
The 480-square-foot spot is cute and cozy, showcasing wooden features, splashes of a tropical blue colour (aptly named by the owners as Tropicana Cabana), with mini-chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
Co-owners Tanya Shklanka and Robyn Harding are longtime friends who met through their children many years ago.
Both decided to open a food venture for different reasons—the former is a chef who missed working in the restaurant industry after taking a long break when her eatery Zocalo burned down in 2009; the latter is a novelist and screenwriter, but knew she had the ability to create something more.
“So I had all the passion at first because there are concepts that are similar in New York and Montreal, and I’m obsessed with chocolate dipped cones,” said Harding to the Straight during an interview at the new soft-serve ice cream shop. “I couldn’t stop talking about it this to Tanya.”
When Shklanka assured her that it wouldn’t be too difficult to open their own frozen-treats shop, the beginning of DIP Ice Cream began to unravel.
“We decided in November-December to actually do this, and we found this place,” Shklanka said. “It took us three months to negotiate the sale of buying the previous business.”
As soon a location was secured for their dessert shop, the two were able to fully concentrate on developing and creating the products they would offer.
“Because both of us have a lot of knowledge about food security and the whole food system, we were both passionate about having a really great product but we also wanted all the food to be sustainable when we could,” Shklanka explained.
The two co-owners wanted to open a place where they felt ethically and environmentally good about what they were selling.
Their passions and beliefs led them to create homemade soft-serve ice cream using milk from Birchwood Dairy in Abbotsford, dipped in Rainforest Alliance Certified chocolate and decorated with different toppings and drizzles.
Guests can expect to indulge in the twisty frozen treat dipped in their choice of dark, milk, or white chocolate. There are nine different types of chocolate to choose from, including matcha white chocolate, peanut butter milk chocolate, and Mexican dark chocolate.
Toppings include everything from Skor bits to kettle corn, pretzels to rainbow sprinkles, honeycomb toffee to dried strawberries.
Last but not least—the drizzle. Sweets-lovers can choose to add salted caramel, pomegranate syrup or dulce de leche to finish off their soft-serve cone.
If you’re feeling too overwhelmed from the abundant of choices listed out on its colourful chalkboard wall, go for the special combos—it comes with pre-picked toppings and a drizzle.
A popular choice is the S’mores combo, which includes a soft-serve ice cream dipped in milk chocolate, topped with mini marshmallows, caramel sauce, and graham crumbs.
Gluten-free cones are also available.
Take a look at the photos below of the new soft-serve ice cream spot and its mouth-watering frozen treats.