By Dylan Deprey
The Green family loved ice cream.
Name a flavor, they’d try it.
No matter if it was 90 degrees and sunny or 25 degrees and snowy, if somebody had the hankering, they were all getting a bowl.
In their own words, they were, “Obsessed!”
Clarissa and Romaro Green were brainstorming ideas for a business their children could run during the summer. They wanted to think outside of the typical lemonade stand.
One night as Clarissa Green was searching the web for ice cream carts, she stumbled across Thai Fried Ice Cream. The popular street dessert originated in Thailand in 2009. The process was similar to stir-fry, other than that dessert toppings were diced and blended with a liquid cream base on a -17-degree stainless steel plate and formed into ice cream rolls.
“I had never seen it, and knew nothing about it. I literally started watching a couple of YouTube videos, and found out rolled ice cream was big in larger cities like Chicago and Miami. So, I just made the purchase right then and there. It was kind of an impulse buy, but it looked exciting and I knew the kids would have fun,” she said.
The family taught themselves in their living room. They experimented with several cream bases until they found the perfect one. Online videos were their teachers, and the flavors were limitless.
“In the beginning, the kids made every single flavor,” Romaro said. “Kids have the imagination, and when you take them out to the store and they’re coming up with these flavors, you think, ‘Wow, I would have never thought of this, but it’s really good.’”
From Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Fruity Pebbles, to Cookies & Cream and Strawberry Blast, Davonte (10), RoMello (8) and Essence (4) started selling rolled ice cream with a small machine and cart at fairs, events and parties.
After several successful events, Paparazzi Ice Cream was becoming a hot commodity through word-of-mouth and social media. They eventually found their brick-and-mortar location at the Silver Mill Court and have been pumping out rolled ice cream ever since.
Whether customers choose options off the menu, or a “Selfie,” in which they get to choose their own toppings, it’s all about customer service with a smile. Green said it was all about the ice cream rolling experience when they got behind the machine. From different toppings to flavored syrups, every rolled confection is a snowflake.
Their business really is a labor of love.
Romaro and Clarisse both left their full-time jobs to take on the business. The two oldest work behind the counter dicing and creating, along with their spunky youngest who enjoys answering the phone and taking care of customers. Along with adding several other employees, the Green family has officially rolled their way into the ice cream business.
“I literally found the machine by mistake,” she said. “We never thought we’d be ice cream shop owners.”
“It’s also just teaching our kids, and showing them responsibility. We’re also leaving them a legacy,” he said.
The Green’s also stress community work to their children. Paparazzi hosts several free-days for the kids around holidays to give back, and have also done events at the VA hospital. They have recently set up a partnership where they will set up their mobile stand at the VA and give a percentage of the profits back to the veterans.
“It’s service and the kids can understand what it’s like to give back to their community, and give back to those in need,” she said.
Visit Paparazzi Ice Cream at 6235b N Teutonia Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53209
For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/paparazzirolledcecreamshop/