Exploring YEG’s Trendy Ice Cream Shops

YouAlberta
Oct 7 · 6 min read

Living in the university area has always been pretty hip. With Whyte Avenue’s bars, restaurants, shops and theatres, just around the corner, I often think my wallet empties in direct proportion to the number of hipster beards and Blundstone boots I see when I’m out with my friends. And this year, there’s a new hot spot in town: the ice cream shop.

Search #yegicecream on Instagram, and you’ll get over a thousand posts⁠ — most of them from students and youth. Not to mention the 45+ minute lineups at Made by Marcus and Kind during their openings and throughout the summer. Will YEG’s ice cream shops continue to bring the heat this winter? In this post, I explore what makes three of the university area’s ice cream shops so unique AND so popular.

Kind Ice Cream

I took my family (including our new puppy, Pepita) to Kind Ice Cream, a quaint ice cream outlet in the Ritchie neighbourhood. Nestled across from a cafe, brewhouse, and butcher, there’s no doubt this area is hip. The most common age demographic for Ritchie residents is 25–29 years old, and according to realtor Jessica Jefferys,

“Millennials are searching more for a lifestyle provided by a community rather than a particular house” (CBC 2017).

I asked Paula Syba, one of Kind’s owners, some questions over email:

What is Kind’s philosophy?

What is Edmonton Made?

What vegan flavours do you serve?

What are your plans for winter? Will you continue to serve ice cream?

Made by Marcus

I took my boyfriend out to Made by Marcus, arguably one of Edmonton’s trendiest dates. Strolling down Whyte Avenue and turning off onto the narrow, lamp-lit path to Made by Marcus is an experience designed for the camera and selfie-stick-loving people of the city. During our date, we sampled their tomato cantaloupe ice cream and saw about 6 other students we know in the long but fast-moving lineup.

How did Made by Marcus get its name?

“Ever wonder who comes up with all of the crazy concoctions at Made By Marcus? Well, Marcus himself of course! With a bachelor’s degree in food science and nutrition at UBC, making ice cream is more than just good taste…it’s science!” (via the Made by Marcus website).

Made by Marcus began in Calgary. Why did it move into Edmonton?

“They have been overwhelmed with requests for the ice cream store to come to Edmonton ever since it opened in Calgary” (via Edmonton Journal).

What vegan flavours are available?

Photo from Made by Marcus website.

Does Made by Marcus collaborate with anyone on their creations?

“Back in Calgary we work with chefs and coffee companies and distilleries, and there are lots of fun collaborations you can do every month, when we create a series with a concept.” (via EatNorth).

In Edmonton they have created a Mango IPA sorbet with Odd Company Brewing, and an Earl Grey Financier and Raspberry ice cream with Duchess Bake Shop. Let’s hope for more local collaborations soon!

Yelo’d Ice Cream & Bake Shoppe

I took my sister and her puppy to Yelo’d, a Filipino and Asian-inspired ice cream shop on Whyte Avenue. With flavours like ube (purple yam) and matcha (green tea), Yelo’d is a taste of home for many Edmontonians. On a sunny day, I tried a chocolate-dipped ube ice cream bar so cold I had to wait several minutes to bite into it.

I interviewed my friend Manuela, an education student at UAlberta, about her experience as an employee at Yelo’d:

What is your favourite thing about working at Yelo’d?

Where did Yelo’d start? Is it anywhere else?

Do you get a lot of student customers?

What is your favourite menu item?

What do you think about the growing trend of ice cream shops in Edmonton?

YouAlberta

Student life: You live it. We share it.

YouAlberta

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YouAlberta

Student life: You live it. We share it.

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