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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


SUMC to see new ice cream parlor, include UA students in design plans

Grace Pierson
Grace Pierson / The Daily Wildcat The Red and Blue Market in the Student Union offers 16 flavors of ice cream.

The UA is about to expand its offering of frozen treats by adding a new ice cream parlor to the Student Union Memorial Center sometime within the next year.

The ice cream parlor will house the ice cream counter currently located in U-Mart, said Todd Millay, assistant director of the Arizona Student Unions, in order to make room for more products at U-Mart.

“Ice cream is one of the best selling items across campus,” Millay said. “That being said, all of this space we could better utilize for other products and services.”

The new parlor will be located in U-Mart’s current storage room, which is in the corner of U-Mart next to Fast Copy. It would be a great location for an ice cream parlor, Millay said.

“We have this great space here, which is currently just being used as the storage room for U-Mart,” Millay said. “So, we’re simply going to move the ice cream parlor to here.”

The products currently held in the U-Mart storage room could be moved into the secondary storage room for the store, Millay said, freeing up the space to be used as a new storefront.

With that plan set, Arizona Student Unions decided to get students involved in the design process.

Millay said they wanted to make the ice cream parlor special, so they brought in Jackson Boelts, a UA professor of art. Arizona Student Unions invited Boelts’ senior level design class to create design ideas for the new space over the course of a month.

Five designs were chosen by the Arizona Student Unions, then narrowed down to three and finally put up for a vote in the SUMC, so students could choose their favorite name and design. Boelts’ class has worked on designs for the student union before, having a hand in the designs of restaurants such as Core, Bagel Talk and Fuel.

Boelts said it was important for students to get involved in the creation process as they are the target market for the project and will know best what students want. Arizona Student Unions wants to use the ice cream parlor to add more seating options for students at the student union, Millay said.

“We won’t have a lot of seating in there,” Millay said, “but it’ll be another place that you can jump on Wi-Fi and have an ice cream and sit for a moment.”

Other plans for the parlor include expanding the ice cream offerings — from simple scoops and milkshakes to more interesting ice cream treats, like sundaes or ice cream tacos. Millay said he hopes the new parlor will also offer an opportunity for the campus pastry chefs to show off their talents.

“We may sell some gourmet brownies, or some Rice Krispies Treats, or some of the showcase items that our chef could create,” Millay said. “Maybe you’ll be able to get your birthday cake there.”

The vote for favorite design was open for two weeks and got about 2,000 votes in. Boelts said winning the design contest will be a great real-world opportunity for the student whose design is ultimately chosen.

“The person who wins this is not only going to get a great portfolio piece,” Boelts said, “but they get to actually execute the design and work with the student union design team to finish it up.”

There’s no finalized timeline for the ice cream parlor project yet, but Millay said it will probably be completed in the next calendar year.

Millay said there have been a lot of concerns regarding Pinkberry, but it isn’t a real threat to the frozen yogurt shop because the ice cream parlor in question already exists.

“It makes it look like you’re providing a new competitor to Pinkberry, but that’s not true,” Millay said. “We literally are already doing it; we’re just moving it.”

– Follow Jazmine Foster-Hall @Jazz_Foster

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