On Saturday, local entrepreneurs Meagan and Garrett Clark will cut the ribbon on Rolling Monkey, their handcrafted ice cream store in Statesboro.
Rolling Monkey is located beside Chicken Salad Chick and Loc’s Chicken and Waffles. The husband and wife duo will offer fresh, hand rolled, made-to-order ice cream, with no preservatives, emulsifiers or stabilizers. The Clarks say they will offer customers a quality product and a captivating show.
This is not your ordinary ice cream store. It is not a chain or franchise, which you will assume when you step inside for the first time.
Well not yet, anyway. This is their very first store. From my viewpoint, every thoughtful inch of the store is designed to engage, inspire and thrill you. The experience of simply stepping into the store is as incredible as the hand-rolled ice cream created specifically for each customer.
Rolling Monkey handcrafted ice cream is made to order by “skilled artisans” who start the process by pouring a locally sourced liquid ice cream onto a below freezing surface. As the ice cream begins to freeze, small ice crystals form due to the rapid rate of transformation from liquid to solid state in order to generate a naturally smoother, creamier product, eliminating the need to add in additional fat and emulsifiers.
Once the ice cream is formed, the flavors are brought to life by adding in the customer’s choice of mix-ins. The customer watches as their ice cream is rolled, one frozen curl at a time. The cherry on top, quite literally, occurs as the customer decides which ingredients will artfully top their individual creation.
There is one size for everyone and no limits on toppings and one simple price for the ice cream – the experience is a bonus.
“Our primary aim at Rolling Monkey is to provide an unforgettable experience to the community of Statesboro by inspiring both children and adults through a positive, engaging show of artisanship,” Garrett Clarke said. “Our goal is to create an environment and product that will allow you to escape, if only for a few minutes, all the challenges in your world and enjoy a moment of happiness that only ice cream can create.”
The name “Rolling Monkey” comes from the process in which the ice cream is made by rolling it into a cup and monkey is Garrett’s nickname for his son Connor Meagan and Garrett are a True Blue couple who met at Georgia Southern while they were completing their education. Meagan is a special education teacher who has left teaching to work in the business full-time. Garrett is an engineer at Koyo in Sylvania.
They were first introduced to rolled ice cream by their wedding planner in Savannah a few years ago and fell in love with it. They felt this really could be the next big thing and from that simple taste, they began what would become a two-year journey researching and planning their business.
The Clarkes have visited more than 55 ice cream stores all over the country on their quest to not only open a new business, but also make it as unique as possible. I think you will agree they have succeeded.
You can see how the combination of the engineer and the passionate, creative educator have injected their talents in this new business. Every step of the process, every inch of the store is planned in excruciating detail. Meagan grew up on the west coast in Orange County, Calif., and Garrett on the east coast in Saint Mary’s, Ga., and they have also both injected these experienced into the business.
They came very close to opening their first store in Pooler, but when local realtor Todd Mannack showed them the Statesboro location, they knew this was the place they were meant to be.
Statesboro has a way of grabbing hold of you and they both agree. After graduation, they had moved to Guyton so they could be closer to their work but longed to be back in Statesboro.
“This just feels right to us,” Meagan Clark said. “When I left home and moved across the country to attend college it was very scary. But Georgia Southern and Statesboro welcomed me with open arms and it feels more like home than any place I have ever lived. Meeting and marrying Garrett, certainly helped make me love it even more.”
Get ready to experience ice cream in a completely new way and discover happiness in a way that will make you think you are in college all over again. For store hours and to learn more about Rolling Monkey visit www.therollingmonkey.com.