Wearing a long, black coat and a fedora, Dante DiCamillo comes across much older than his 23 years.
In October, he opened Rolled Cold Creamery in downtown Lancaster—a young entrepreneur, for sure. But then he adds that this isn’t even his first foray into business. He also owns a landscaping business and a property management company. Not bad for a recent graduate from college.
“I’m not afraid to do anything,” he said. “You just have to be willing to get out there, and if you need to stay up all night and skip sleeping, that’s what you’ve got to do. It’s being willing to make sacrifices like that. That’s what will make my new business a success.”
So, what exactly is rolled ice cream? The style originated in Southeast Asia as street food and began popping up in large U.S. cities a few years ago. I first learned about it from friends in California in 2016 and tried it for the first time in Philadelphia last summer.
The process goes like this. A liquid base is poured from a cup onto a freezing cold, stainless steel surface called the pan. As a thin layer spreads, a choice of flavors and toppings are added, then mixed and chopped together. Once everything is cold, a metal spatula rolls up the ice cream and places it into a bowl. The final step is adding more toppings like a sundae.
DiCamillo opened Rolled Cold Creamery last October. However, unlike his ice cream, not everything rolled along smoothly at first. With only one machine, the wait for ice cream took almost an hour on a couple of Saturdays.
“So I was like, ‘Yup, that’s got to change,’” he said. “Right away, we had to close for renovations, like two weeks in, so we could expand.”
After purchasing a second machine, the shop now has four pans, and the wait time is down to a few minutes.
DiCamillo has partnered with several local businesses to expand his offerings. He uses pies, cookies and brownies from Bird-in-Hand Bakery, apple cider from Kauffman’s and coffee from New Holland Coffee Co. He has a never-ending list of ideas, and one is adding healthy sandwiches and wraps to the menu.
“I chose Lancaster because I love the area,” he said. “I molded my menu and products we give to coincide with what Lancaster offers. I’m a little more traditional, and I like the small business camaraderie that’s around here. It’s very neat to see.”
He even had a hand in the design of his shop.
“I like doing that type of design work like choosing the colors in here and the woodworking,” he said. “I built those counters and everything. I enjoy it. It’s fun stuff.”
Besides his existing businesses, DiCamillo recently added another one. He opened a clothing company called Live Restless. But wait, there’s more. With a degree in pastoral studies, he also spends some of his time working with the church.
“I still teach youth group on Sundays, and I preach in church a couple of times when I need to fill in,” he said.
When you visit Rolled Cold Creamery, expect to get your money’s worth. You’re not just getting dessert, but a show, too. It’s delightful to watch the treat being made, and it’s almost a bonus when you get to eat it.
“I want to give customers a great product and one that I can be proud of,” DiCamillo said. “I’m proud of the freshness of it, the taste of it, how it’s presented. I like being able to give people a product that is worth coming here—not just for the product itself, but also the experience.”
Rolled Cold Creamery is located at 24 E. Orange St., Lancaster. For more information, visit www.rolledcoldcreamery.com.