MARION - Always looking for a new delicacy to introduce to its customers, Mr. Koolz Frozen Yogurt shop in Marion appears to have hit a home run with its newest concoction - ice cream rolls.
"My dad (store owner Brent Gentry) took a trip to New York to visit a friend who has an ice cream parlor and he was selling these rolls," assistant manager Hannah Gentry said. "Originated in Thailand, it's the craziest thing you've ever seen.
"You have to go quick," she said. "There isn't much time for messing around. We fix the rolls up on a machine that cools the ice cream at 25 degrees below zero. You then chop it, spread it and roll it. They come out looking like egg rolls. The whole cooking process takes about four minutes and we have two machines going the whole time."
Toppings can then be inserted into the mix or above it.
A few popular arrangements include one with Graham cracker base, chocolate syrup, caramel, pecans, whipped cream and a cherry.
Another is S'mores, which features a Graham cracker base, marshmallow sauce, chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, whipped cream and a cherry.
There is also a strawberry-based version with Graham-cracker base with strawberries mixed into it, strawberry syrup, whipped cream and cherry.
"It's one of the coldest tastes you can ever imagine, but it quickly melts into your mouth," Gentry said.
Gentry said customers came to the store this past Saturday from as far away as Sikeston and Cape Girardeau, Missouri, as well as Sparta and Salem.
Gentry said it means a lot to her to know that Mr. Koolz is the first in the region to offer the delicacy.
"It took us a lot of time to figure out the cooking process, but boy, is it popular with our customers."
Gentry said she isn't aware of any other frozen yogurt/ice cream parlor in the tri-state area offering the product.
"There is one in Las Vegas and one in California, but we are definitely one of the very few. The machinery is very expensive and it is time-consuming to make just one. The key is temperature, texture and timing to make the ice cream rolls.
Last Tuesday, Gentry said, was the first time Mr. Koolz introduced the new product to the general public.
"We had people lined up outside the door to get one," she said. "We've had 157,500 views, 682 shares, 479 likes and 320 comments on Facebook. People say they've seen it on YouTube and the Cooking Channel, but never dreamed it would come to Marion. It's here now and it's all we can do to keep up with it."
Gentry added that the shop, which started out pretty much just offering frozen yogurt and custard, looks to be a trend setter rather than a copier of other businesses, adding Amish pies a couple of years ago.
"Our goal is to continue to be creative and different," she said. "And it helps to have a good staff. In fact, if we continue to sell these ice cream rolls at the rate we have, we may need to expand our workforce this summer."