It was a love for food and the outdoors that led one Guelph resident to open their own ice cream business.
Pao Ming Lee is the owner of Kapow Ice Cream, a colourful ice cream trike which sells handcrafted, small batches of ice cream and popsicles.
“I wanted to combine two things I love, which was food and being outside on the bike,” said Lee about the business.
Residents who stop by the cart on the weekend at Exhibition Park can choose from a variety of flavoured ice creams, including vanilla, London fog and cinnamon toast crunch.
Kapow also serves coconut matcha ice cream, which is vegan, and popsicle flavours that include strawberry lemonade and mango pineapple mint.
While Kapow Ice Cream will only be at Exhibition Park this summer, Lee has plans to travel around to different locations in Guelph in 2022.
"Next year, I'll be able to be more mobile," she said.
A pastry chef with 10 years of culinary experience, Lee mentions she always dreamed of opening her own cafe one day.
“I’ve always wanted to work with food, it’s always made me happy and I love creating,” said Lee, “There’s so much joy, community and love with food.”
In February, Lee came up with the idea to own and operate an ice cream trike.
“Ice cream just popped into my head and I couldn’t get it out of my head, and so I thought, ‘Let’s just see how it goes,’” she said.
Despite all their experience as a pastry chef, Lee said this is their first time making ice cream. She said she draws inspiration for product flavours from what’s fresh and local.
“Everything will be as close to home as possible,” said Lee.
She also creates flavours based on foods she loves to eat as well, like a Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.
“It’s my favourite cereal and I wanted to have it in my ice cream,” said Lee about why she created that flavour, “I was experimenting with it for a while as I was trying to figure out how to keep it crunchy while in ice cream form.”
Currently, Lee is recipe testing new flavours of ice cream, including a stout ice cream based on the chocolate milk stout from Wellington Brewery.
Outside of Kapow, Lee also works at Red Brick Cafe. Next month, she and a coworker plan to collaborate on a new flavoured ice cream.
“She makes a really amazing blueberry pie bar and I kind of want to incorporate it into my ice cream,” said Lee.
Lee adds her ice cream trike was painted by another co-worker, Lizzy Mikulich, and she plans to have the trike repainted by different local artists to showcase their talents.
"I love that pop art colour, I just wanted everything to be fun and playful," said Lee about the aesthetic of Kapow.
Although residents are still getting to know Kapow Ice Cream, Lee said she has received a lot of positive responses back from the community.
“People really like it,” she said about customers, “My family and friends have been really supportive.”
“It’s been going great so far.”