One Summer, Ben & Merrick decide to take a little trip to Southeast Asia.
Halfway through their trip, they decide to do a famous motorbike route called the Hai Van Pass, a beautiful 21km stretch of road with mountains on one side, and the coast on the other. It was going to be beautiful..
..Unfortunately, they did the route in the middle of a monsoon. Merrick's moped broke because of all the rain, so they ended up arriving at their hostel in Hoi An 6 hours later than planned.
They'd stopped serving food at the hostel, so a hungry Ben & Merrick wandered the streets of Hoi An for dinner.
Eventually they found a little street market. In the corner was a lady tip-tapping away making rolled ice cream: something Ben & Merrick had never seen before! They had rolled ice cream for dinner - it was great!
Back in the UK, Ben & Merrick were catching up in a Weatherspoons. They got onto the topic of their Rolled Ice cream dinner. Before they knew it, they were ordering some ice cream pans from a guy in Germany whilst waiting for their Curry Club Thursdays to arrive. A very expensive trip to the pub!
Ben & Merrick had a plan to sell Rolled Ice Cream under a fun and novel brand. First, they needed a name. Their best idea was "Ben & Not Jerry's", but then realised they might have some copyright issues... They did however print it on their aprons.
As a kid, Ben was in a musical about an ice cream parlour called "Shake, Ripple & Roll". Ben suggested the name "Ripple & Roll", and it stuck!
They needed a logo. It only took 36 attempts! These were the final four choices.
The Ice Cream pans arrived from Germany! Now all they needed to do was learn how to roll some ice cream. The first attempts weren't pretty.
Bowl of rolls?
Their first menu allowed you to craft the rolled ice cream of your dreams. Merrick insisted on a Carrot Cake flavour. It never sold very well...
Ripple & Roll were ready for their first event. Ben & Merrick packed everything into a small blue van and set off with high hopes for a weekend in Poole, England.
The weather in Poole was awful. It rained so hard that the event was cancelled early. At one point a gust of wind blew over an entire line of portaloos like dominos!
However, even though they were completely drenched, Ripple & Roll had sold some ice cream!
Afterwards, Ripple & Roll travelled South West England, going to festivals in Bath, Cullompton and Powderham Castle.
They eventually found a home in The Guildhall, Exeter
Menu version 2 is born! Introducing the Chocoholic, Caramel Connoisseur, Strawsome-berry and Minted. Merrick made a last minute decision to add the 'Nutty Hippo'. Good job - it became Ripple & Roll's most popular flavour!
There was no stopping Ripple & Roll! ...except for Winter. Ben & Merrick decided to close up shop, spend the cold months working in ski resorts, and think about the future of Ripple & Roll.
6 months later, back in the UK, Ben and Merrick met back in their local Weatherspoons, and hatched a plan for doing Ripple & Roll full time. They then set off on an epic quest to find a permanent location.
After lots of taste testing, 4 new flavours were added to the menu. Ripple & Roll introduced their first vegan ice cream: the Smoothie Criminal.
Ripple & Roll opens their bright pink horsebox doors in Cabot Circus Bristol!
Ripple & Roll becomes Team Ripple & Roll!
Ripple & Roll opens in Trinity Kitchen, Leeds!
Who knows what's next?
Whilst looking for locations, Ben & Merrick gave a presentation at London's Completely Retail Marketplace 2018 event. In this talk Ben & Merrick talk about Rolled Ice Cream and how they founded Ripple & Roll.