Salted duck egg might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of tasty ice cream flavours.
But it’s turning out to be part of a recipe for success for two young Calgary entrepreneurs.
Cousins Anita Ly and Tiffany To have spent the summer of 2019 developing their new microcreamery business called Milk Ice Cream.
“We wanted to make ice cream that’s a reflection of our roots,” Ly said.
And that’s where the salted duck egg comes in.
The other Asian-inspired flavours include Hong Kong milk tea and a pandan leaf and coconut combination.
Another ice cream includes plenty of melted down White Rabbit chewy candies, a popular Asian treat.
“We grew up eating this,” To said. “It was kind of like a reward for being good.”
“My grandma always had a stash of these in her purse,” Ly said. “If I behaved, I would get a White Rabbit candy!”
The pair make their ice cream in the back of the family restaurant, John’s Breakfast and Lunch.
“We grew up in the restaurant industry,” To said.
And one of their most popular flavours, Viet Coffee, has a strong family connection.
“We wanted to make an ice cream that was kind of paying tribute to our parents,” Ly said. “They came from a war-torn country, from poverty, all the way to Canada, to start a better life and give us a better life. So our Viet Coffee is inspired by their roots growing up in Vietnam.”
Ly and To have been selling their ice cream at markets and from a portable freezer in front of John’s Breakfast and Lunch.
“The goal is to have our own ice cream shop in the future,” Ly said. “That’s the ultimate goal!”
To currently works as a nurse, while Ly spends her days helping run the family restaurant.
After years of dreaming of starting their own business together, they’ll always remember 2019 as the year it got off the ground.
“It’s long hours,” Ly said, “but we love it!”