Roberta LaQuaglia is talking to me on the phone about how she wants to make an ice cream that is loaded with bits of cookies and I swear I started to feel faint.
That’s how I get when I think about ice cream – a little woozy. I love it that much. I love Roberta’s Glenburn Soda Fountain on Hastings near Gilmore in Burnaby that much.
The Burnaby dessert institution that she runs with husband Ron is operating right now in the new world of COVID-19. Glenburn is still offering amazing ice cream concoctions, but now you have to order online ahead of time for pick up.
Business is still steady, but will definitely benefit when many of the restaurants around start to (hopefully) reopen. My routine when eating in Burnaby Heights is to go for dinner and then drop by Glenburn for a shake or a sundae. (Read about their sundaes in my blog here.) But many of the nearby restaurants are either closed or takeout only.
Glenburn is currently being run just by family members, Roberta said, but plans are in the works to slowly add staff again. And the even bigger news is the family business is expanding to a second location.
Roberta and Ron are hoping to open Glenburn Roadside in mid-July just a few blocks east at 4347 Hastings St.
Glenburn Roadside will be a takeout window offer a “slimmed-down” menu of items you can just walk up and order. This idea really takes me back to the 1970s in the Burnaby Heights when Dairy Queen had a takeout window set up just across the street.
Roberta likens Glenburn Roadside to “like a roadside stand you’d find on a summer road trip. It’s really a slimmed-down version of Glenburn, almost like a pop-up.”
Glenburn Roadside will also serve as a production kitchen in which Roberta will finally be able to make her own ice cream flavours, as well as in-house brownies, cookies and toppings for sundaes. In addition, they can make dairy-free water ice and vegan ice creams that they haven’t had access to in the past. You’ll also be able to order an ice cream cake and treats to take home for your freezer.
I was listening to all of this and feeling so inspired. It’s a tough time for most businesses, but here’s one that is also making expansion plans.
I will follow up when Glenburn Roadside opens up because I will have to sample their wares.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.