A new pop-up ice cream shop will be rolling ice cream this weekend.
When Morgantown native Tyler Lalka was 16, he landed a job at Denny’s with his best friend. Just a few days later, restaurant management decided they’d overhired, and they laid Lalka and his friend off. That experience taught Lalka that he never wanted to worry about being laid off again—and he vowed to be his own boss one day.
Now a 21-year-old marketing student at West Virginia University, Lalka opened Rolling Hills Rolled Ice Cream on April 10. It’s an idea he had back in 2018, but it took a while to gain momentum. He was discouraged back then by other business owners. “They told me it would be difficult; the expenses of it would be hard to manage,” he says. “They also told me it would be hard to find a good location for a good price in Morgantown. And at 18, I didn’t have much capital to buy a building.”
He stuck with it and found a brilliant solution to the location problem—co-sharing space with his current employer, Mountain Man Axe Throwing in Star City. He approached the owner with the idea and was happily obliged. You can now find Lalka pouring ice cream base onto a frozen slab, mixing added toppings, scraping the frozen mixture into rolls, and serving them in cups each weekend—Friday through Sunday. He said the first weekend in business was phenomenal. He admittedly set no expectations because he didn’t want to be disappointed. “But if every weekend goes like last weekend, I’ll be happy,” he says.
Lalka purchased a trailer last week that he’s working to convert to a traveling ice cream shop, and we can expect to see it parked throughout the county starting in June. It will also be for hire—as Lalka’s pop-up ice cream shop is now—for weddings, employee picnics, birthday parties, and more.
Until Rolling Hills Rolled Ice Cream is fully mobile, make plans for a little axe throwing this weekend and treat yourself to the fan favorite: vanilla rolled ice cream with salted caramel pretzel added in for good measure.