Dixon’s new rolled ice cream shop opens

On A Roll owner Jullian Horton (left) gets to work making ice cream with Amari Granberry on Monday, July 1, 2024, during a soft opening for the new rolled ice cream shop.

DIXON — Dixon’s newest ice cream shop, On A Roll, drew in a large crowd eager to try the unique rolled ice cream during its soft opening Monday afternoon.

Owners Jullian and Angelina Horton got the idea to open the shop after visiting Jullian’s mom out of state. They went to a rolled ice cream shop together and “thought that it was really cool and unique.” They decided to open their own store as it was something new that Dixon didn’t have, Angelina said Monday.

Instead of being churned in a machine, rolled ice cream is made by hand on freezing pans which results in a slightly more dense texture and a more intense flavor then traditional ice cream.

Jullian, along with employee Amari Granberry, were hard at work Monday afternoon mixing the ice cream as patrons watched. They poured a pre-made base onto the freezing pan and added the necessary ingredients to create the different flavors they sell, such as Oreo, chocolate or strawberry. Using two stainless steel spatulas, they combine the mixture on the pan. The ice cream gradually becomes less malleable due to the freezing temperatures. After that, they spread the completed mixture out thinly on the pan and roll it into individual ice cream rolls.

The shop sells 11 flavors, including “The Cat in The Hat” featuring vanilla ice cream and Oreo cookies, and “The Cupid’s Arrow” featuring strawberries and white chocolate drizzle. Costumers can also customize their order by adding different cereal, candy or drizzle toppings. So far, the store has a variety of dairy-based flavors, and they’re working on including a dairy-free vegan alternative for those with dietary restrictions, Angelina said.

Angelina said it took months to get ready to open. Originally, they started with a location on West Third Street, but quickly realized it was going to be way too small. Their current location at 308 W. First St. was the perfect size for them, she said.

Inside is the ice cream bar, a large chalkboard wall for community members to sign their names or draw pictures, and a selfie wall with a blue neon “On A Roll” sign. There are two four-person tables set up for seating, which is something Angelina said they hope to expand in the future.

Prior to opening, Jullian began uploading videos onto Facebook of the rolled ice cream flavors that the shop would sell.

“People kept calling us and asking when we were going to open,” Angelina said.

She said it was perfect timing with the July 4 holiday and Petunia Festival coming up later this week.

Doors opened about 2:45 p.m. Monday to welcome in the growing line of patrons waiting outside. By 4:30 p.m., the shop was still full of costumers.

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Payton Felix

Payton Felix

Payton Felix reports on local news in the Sauk Valley for the Shaw Local News Network. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May of 2023.