By JP Graham | Reporter
Chills 360, a Thai-inspired ice cream shop that originated in Dallas, is the newest addition to the strip of shops on Speight Avenue and 16th Street. Opening just two weeks ago on March 23, it has taken the Baylor community by storm.
Chills 360‘s popularity could easily be attributed to its unique product — ice cream rolls. Customers can choose from four different flavors – vanilla, coffee, tarra and matcha – which is then mixed with selected toppings and spread thin onto a plate that is negative 16 degrees Fahrenheit. The plate eliminates the need for added preservatives and stabilizers that regular ice cream contains.
Husband and wife Brice and Lauren Helton co-manage the parlor and have hired multiple Baylor students throughout their first two weeks of being open. Brice Helton said Chill 360’s original style of serving ice cream has attracted significant business because the experience is more personable than buying ice cream from the store.
“I think a lot of it comes down to the experience. What causes our wait to be so long is the fact that we’re actually making ice cream in front of you, as opposed to pre-made ice cream,” Helton said. “We’re trying to create that experience for the customer, which takes a little bit longer per person.”
Brice Helton said customers are not only paying for the large portion of ice cream, but also for the presentation and personalization of each serving.
“I think that’s what draws the crowd, is that they’re looking for an opportunity to connect, an opportunity to have something different than what they can do themselves,” Helton said. “From spelling your name in sauce, to the final presentation, it’s kind of a form of entertainment in a way.”
Lauren Helton said Chills 360’s first two weeks have been a success, despite the time-intensive process of personalizing each dish.
“We’ve had such great customers come in,” Lauren Helton said. “Our line is typically about a 15 to 20 minute wait. In the evening time, it’s been up to 45 minutes to an hour, so we’re cranking out the ice cream as fast as we can.”
Chills 360 offers eight signature combinations but also allows customers to make their own. Lauren Helton said a fan favorite from their first few weeks has been the “Hangover,” a combination of chocolate candy and coffee ice cream.
“If you are needing a study break or just needing an afternoon pick-me-up, come on in for a ‘hangover,’” Lauren Helton said through laughter. “It’s our coffee base with Kit Kat, Cocoa Puffs and chocolate sauce that will help you get through the day.”
Brice Helton said the personable staff who build the creations one by one helps to set expectations for the customers, letting them know they are getting more than just a bowl of ice cream.
“We want the experience to be very personal,” Brice Helton said. “It’s not just a random ‘I’m going to go pick up a scoop of ice cream,’ but ‘you know your roller who spells your name really well and does the art in it for you.’”
Chills 360 in Waco is open from 2 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 to 11 p.m. Friday, 12 to 11 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Interested ice cream-lovers can follow Chills 360 on Instagram for more information.