That buzzing in your pocket could be a sign that your ice cream is at the door.
“I like to think of myself as the ice cream 911,” said Salli Wason, founder of Greater Portland’s newest food startup, Rosanna’s Ice Cream.
In business since January, the small-batch ice cream delivery service is a dream come true. A radical update on an old idea. The new Good Humor woman, who instead of a tinny song squawking through a truck speaker, spreads the word via Facebook, text and good old-fashioned word of mouth.
Every Wednesday through Sunday Wason delivers custom pints of just-made ice cream in flavors like coffee Twix, lemon ginger snap and vegan Mayan chocolate throughout Portland, parts of South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Westbrook and Falmouth.
Customers can order one pint, or 20. Just text ice cream, and she’ll send back that night’s menu.
You can even suggest flavors, like London Fog, an Earl Grey one-off. This bootstrapping business, unlike say Giffords, can turn on a dime. (Actually $7.99. That’s the cost for a pint, which includes delivery).
But why stop there?
You can also order a side of nuts, whipped cream or hot fudge ($2 to $5).
“Who hasn’t sat on the couch and thought, ‘oh I want ice cream, does any body deliver?'” said Wason, 39. “It’s decadent, but humble. It’s a recession-proof treat. Not ostentatious.”
Frequent customer Caroline Paras relishes the anonymity of texting for a nightly indulgence.
“I’m trying to cut back on ice cream so I don’t buy it in the store. Then 8 p.m. rolls around and I need a fix. Already in my jammies, I don’t want to do the walk of shame at the grocery store. Then Rosanna’s comes through with new flavors every night,” said Paras of Portland. “And she doesn’t judge.”
The baker, who grew up in Union, taught herself to make ice cream. It’s not too far removed from chocolate mousse, she says. She uses Oakhurst Dairy for her eggless Philly style ice cream.
Renting out space at The Woodfords Club, Wason runs lean with one employee (her 20 year old daughter). But business, which starts at 7 p.m. has been brisk.
“Mainers eat more ice cream in the winter than any other state,” is one statistic she is standing behind. And now they can dip a spoon into gourmet flavors within 25 minutes to an hour right from their couch.
“It’s perfect for company morale boosters,” said Wason, who was hired recently by a traveling CEO in the Old Port to keep her troops engaged in her absence.
If you live within a 4.5 mile radius from the center of Portland you are in luck. Text “ice cream” to 207-450-3259 and kick back.