Ailynn Wong describes herself as a dreamer, which is why she and her husband, Jason, decided to open an ice cream shop on the fly after a suggestion from their young daughter.
“It was around Christmas time in 2017, and she was like, ‘Let’s have an ice cream shop.’ And Jason and I looked at each other, and we just said, ‘Yeah, we can do that,’” says Wong. “And then on New Year’s Day, we were driving around looking for a space to rent.”
Wong bought an ice cream maker from her neighbourhood buy and sell page, and quickly got to work trying out recipes so she’d be a pro when they opened Yelo’d Ice Cream + Bake Shoppe in 2018.
Edmonton is already home to plenty of ice cream shops, so Wong and her husband decided to create something they’d yet to see in the city — a fusion of Filipino and other Asian inspired flavours. The small shop on Whyte Avenue sells soft serve ice cream, affogato, halo halo, milkshakes, ice cream cakes and cookies.
There’ll always be something new to try at Yelo’d as the flavours rotate every two weeks, but a bestseller that appears frequently is the Ube (purple yam) ice cream. It’s the shop’s signature flavour and always the one Wong recommends to new customers.
“Everybody always comes with their own favorites, and they wait for the rotation,” says Wong. “People get excited when three months down the road or six months down the road their favourite flavours are back on the menu.”
In 2020, Yelo’d took to the road with its ice cream truck brand, Sosyal Scoops. The truck is out all summer long and its locations are posted daily on Instagram. Sosyal serves exclusive flavours you won’t find at Yelo’d, like Pandan Latte and Sour Cherry.
“We’re just a little family business trying to make a go of it, and we’ve been super fortunate that every time we introduce a new unique flavor to this city, everybody’s pretty excited to come and try it.”