OleO’s serving up smiles with every cone
Hazel Cail and Gordon Paziuk are always ready to serve you at OleO’s Ice Cream at Mirror Lake Park in Camrose. Marilou Yampolsky/ Camrose Canadian Contributor
From May long weekend through the month of September (weather permitting), people flock to Mirror Lake Park to satisfy their sweet tooth with ice cream from OleO’s Ice cream castle.
Named after her dad Ole Olsen, owner Hazel Cail bought the ice cream shop five years ago with a mission to serve the Camrose area with consistent hours, consistent staff, and a quality product. Her hope was that ice cream lovers from all over the area would drive to OleO’s as a destination, and they do. They have customers that drive into Camrose, just for a stop at the ice cream shop and to play on the playground. This little shop’s fan base spreads pretty far as they have a couple from England who makes sure an ice cream cone is on their agenda every Camrose visit.
Cail asked good friend Gordon Paziuk if he’d be willing to help to get the business rolling. Paziuk was retired and willing to help out, so agreed with the intention to stay for a few short months; five years later he is now known as the “ice cream man” all over town and says he has the best job there is.
Paziuk is always friendly, knows all of his regulars, and strives to make every customer smile. According to Paziuk, “its not just about ice cream, it’s about the looks on kids’ faces when they’re getting a cone, that’s the most rewarding part.”
OleO’s is the only place in Camrose where you can get Foothills ice cream. They chose this brand because of its premium quality.
Daron Yarbroough is a regular customer who brings his daughter for ice cream every second day and says they come because “its relaxing to come to the lake and enjoy an ice cream cone, and its quite frankly the best ice cream I’ve ever had.”
His daughter Serina enjoys the father-daughter time and even brings her niece here for a cone and a chance to play at the playground.
Mom Christa Jones brings her two kids here every couple weeks from out of town just for an outing. She appreciates that OleO’s is open day-time hours during the week. Christa likes that the prices are reasonable, the staff is friendly, and that they have gluten free options. Her kids favourites are birthday cake and cotton candy.
With so many options to choose from customers can order milk shakes, floats, soft serve in three flavours, and soft serve with up to eight flavour burst choices.
There are 16 hard serve flavours to choose from on every visit, the choices are sure to please. Sizes range from a mini me, to the largest which is typically three scoops.
Over the season customers will be served 78 flavours, so keep coming back there’s always something new to try. OleO’s always has a no sugar added option available. The NSA (no sugar added) choice is sweetened with a natural cane sugar.
Another daily option is a sorbet. This option has no dairy. Most flavours are gluten free. If you are concerned about allergies ask the server to check the ingredient list.
Not sure where to start for your first scoop?
The Top 5 best sellers at OleO’s ice cream castle are: Maple nut, Tiger, Bubble gum, Cotton candy, and Birthday cake.
Cail’s favourite flavour is espresso fudge, Paziuk’s is black forest. Stop in to OleO’s from now until July 1 and tell them you read this article and what their two favourite flavours are and you’ll be entered to win five single cones. And while you’re picking up your winnings, try out the O Canada ice cream they’re bringing in just for July 1.
Serving ice cream is a fun job as Gordon says “people always come happy for ice cream.”
OleO’s has six staff which includes students who come back every year. Every time they open it takes an hour to set up. This includes sanitizing the space, sweeping the area and wiping down all surfaces. I spent an hour scooping ice cream here to get an idea of the life of an ice cream scooper, and I was impressed by their standards of cleanliness They’ve had many comments from moms saying they appreciate the care they take to ensure the facility is clean and safe for all their customers.
OleO’s appreciates the opportunity to serve at the lake and makes every effort to ensure they do their part to make the park a clean, welcoming area for visitors.
Cail loves being a part of the community and enjoys giving back. She collaborates with many groups and is always willing to help others make their events successful. Some of her favourite groups to work with include Fox Taekwondo, Art in the Park, Pie Night with the Camrose Chamber of commerce, CAFCL, the Augustana athletics, and the Edmonton motorcycle club.
Cail takes their empty food grade ice cream tubs to Wild Rose Foodservice where they sell the tubs for $2 and donate the money to a local organization.
OleO’s has a new partnership with the Camrose Public Library to encourage participants to get out on a bicycle journey and experience their community. Please contact Val at the library for more details, it’s a great project.
Stop in for a treat and see what its all about. You’ll be greeted with a smile every time by the fantastic staff.
Check out www.pamperedchef.ca/pws/marilouy and please “like” Marilous pampered chef on facebook
CORRECTION — In a previous article it should have said Wild Rose Food Service Distributors is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.