Just in time for the hot summer days, we recently caught up with Ron Tokey, owner of Summer’s Ice Cream, a Toronto staple since 1984 in the central Bloor neighbourhood of Yorkville.
What is your business called and what does it do?
My business is called Summer’s Ice Cream, which has been making Toronto’s Best Homemade ice cream, from the heart of the city in Bloor-Yorkville, since 1984.
What made you want to do this work?
My parents opened Summer’s Ice Cream and I grew up working at our multiple locations around the city, and eventually bought the business from them to carry on the Summer’s name. It’s our family business, and is a legacy I love to continue, and hope to eventually pass down to my kids some day.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
My parents saw an opportunity to share their authentic american-style ice cream, made right here in Yorkville, and without compromise. To this day, we still strive to provide the best product, and experience, putting a smile on the faces of all our customers at Summer’s Ice Cream–and we all stress, because we have options for nearly EVERYONE. Ice Cream, Gelato, Sorbet, dairy-free options like Dole Whip, Softserve, dipped cones, pain, homemade waffles, gluten-free cones, and all the toppings you can think of. We do our best to ensure no one ever feels left out.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Anyone with a sweet tooth–whether it’s an appetite for Ice Cream, Sorbet, Frozen Yogurt, Gelato, and vegan Dole Whip.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
We have a couple different facets of Summer’s business. We run our store in Yorkville, which offers a variety of homemade ice creams in our always fresh, house-made waffle cones. We also serve sundaes, milkshakes, Dole whip, sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato and ice cream sammies.
Outside of our Yorkville location, you can also find pints of Summer’s Ice Cream in Sobeys locations across Toronto, as well as on Uber Eats from both our location during business hours and a number of other’s that buy it wholesale from us, like Mary’s Convenience amongst others–perfect for that late night craving (as they deliver up until 3am, I believe).
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
We’re located in the heart of the city, in Bloor-Yorkville off of Yorkville Ave., at 101 Yorkville Ave.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
How is your ice cream made?
Summer’s Ice Cream is made in-house daily allowing us to offer a range of flavours and styles of ice cream. Our ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet is made with only premium ingredients, and a whole lot of love.
What separates you from the competition?
We only use the best of ingredients to make our ice cream, and all our other options too. Our process ensures Summer’s Ice Cream has less air whipped into our products, creating the best ice cream Toronto has to offer–and our customers vouch for us.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the most challenging part?
The best part is serving happiness to all our customers.
The most challenging is the coordination of making it all happen seasonally with new staff each year. But with hope that we can soon enough expand our operations and locations to be able to offer it year round.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
“Here comes the ice cream man.” A dad joke, I know.
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?