It’s not a Vancouver summer without a couple of frozen-treat shops opening up around town, right?
Because our city clearly enjoys indulging in sweets, ice cream-lovers will be happy to learn about a highly anticipated addition that is gearing up to open its doors in early August.
La Glace (2785 West 16th Avenue)—an artisanal ice-cream parlour—will soon be scooping its French-style frozen treats in the neighbourhood where Kitsilano meets Arbutus Ridge.
The nearly 900-square-foot space was previously occupied by a diet and supplement store, but the interior has since been completely revamped—expect to walk into a charming sweets shop highlighted by pastel hues and a Parisian flair.
Designed by local Granville Island branding and design agency Arithmetic Creative, guests can expect a beautiful and classy atmosphere accentuated by marble, brass, and chinoiserie elements; a hand-painted gold-leafed mural featuring a pair of peacocks; and mint-coloured upholstery.
Owner and pastry chef Mark Tagulao created La Glace three years ago, which started out as an in-demand ice-cream cart hired for special events and pop-ups (Holt Renfrew, Crème de la Crème, Ted Talks) in Vancouver.
“My family always had ice cream for a celebration, and it’s really about the connectivity,” Tagulao told the Straight in a phone interview. “All those special moments involved ice cream, and that’s what we wanted to provide. [We want] to get everybody to gather and indulge in something that was worth indulging into.”
Tagulao makes ice cream using the French method, which basically uses more egg yolks and cream.
“You whisk [egg yolks and sugar] together until it’s light and fluffy and that’s the basis of French ice cream,” he explained. “It’s actually quite rich and creamy, and has less aeration in it.”
Those who wander into his ice-cream parlour may find it difficult to make a decision—everything looks delicious and there is something for everyone.
Its menu items includes regular dairy ice cream, with flavours such as muscadine (milk chocolate, hazelnut, Cointreau), bananes foster (banana rum cream, toffee swirl, cinnamon), matcha noir (green tea cream with black sesame swirl), and café àla lavande (coffee cream with a hint of lavender), among others.
Vegan ice cream flavours range from coco pandan (pandan-infused coconut cream) to chocohuète (peanut butter and dark chocolate flecks) to chocolat à la menthe (mint cream and dark chocolate flecks).
“We use a cashew milk-base for our vegan ice cream, so it’s still just as rich and creamy as our regular dairy ice cream,” explained Tagulao. “What I wanted to do was make a recipe that still rivaled the creaminess, the texture and flavour of the regular ice cream with the vegan. Because I don’t think they need to miss out…life is too short.”
Its signature parfait creations include gourmandise (vanilla and chocolate ice cream, chocolate ganache, Valrhona chocolate chips, feuilletine, whipped cream), vegan tropique (coco pandan ice cream, salted coconut caramel, roasted pandan sweet rice), and many more.
Pastries and confections such as financiers (French almond cake), macarons, profiteroles (French cream puff), cookies, marshmallows, and meringue kisses will also be offered at the frozen-treats establishment.
“This is an offering of the most decadent ice cream that [Vancouver] has ever had,” said Tagulao. “The offerings and the aesthetic of the place is something that is unique and really creates a feeling of nostalgia. I think people will be able to share and taste something that will really bring home the fact that these are handcrafted treats that’s had a lot of thought and work put into it.”
La Glace officially opens to the public on August 4, 2017.
Scroll through the photos below for a sneak peek inside the French-style ice-cream shop.