By Brandon HENSLEY
This Sunday, passersby on Honolulu Avenue will be screaming for free ice cream in front of the Paradis ice cream shop. And they’ll get it.
That’s because the store is celebrating not only its first year in the comforts of Montrose, but also its first in the U.S.
From noon to 4 p.m., the shop will give away medium-sized cups – about two scoops – of any ice cream. The celebration will include a DJ outside and “a lot of balloons for the kids,” said co-owner Mark Pederson.
Paradis, a franchise in Denmark, made its way out to Southern California last year and had its grand opening Sept. 26. Owned by Pederson, his sister Mia, Jens Thorup and Morton Erikson, the small store fits cozily in the Montrose shopping center and has become a hit with customers.
“Really good responses,” said Pederson of the customers. “You know, I think our problem was to get our name out there but now, a year later, we’re really satisfied.
“It’s really been catching on now. It’s going great.”
Pederson said it was a combination of media coverage, advertising on their part, and word of mouth from Paradis enthusiasts that helped the shop stabilize over the past year.
Paradis is an ice cream that operates around the words “freshly made,” which means the vanilla comes from Madagascar and the pistachios from Sicily.
While the store is in Montrose, Pederson and the others live in Downtown L.A. Either way, they are enjoying the SoCal lifestyle.
“We love it,” Pederson said. “We like the weather. It’s always cold and rainy in Denmark right now.”
Recently, a Paradis opened in Sweden. Besides that, the franchise remains in Denmark. The shop in Montrose is still the only one in the U.S. Pederson said they intend to expand, but only in L.A. for now.
“We have like five locations we are looking at, but we don’t know exactly where yet.”
Pederson also said Honolulu reminds them of places in Denmark. On Sunday afternoon, people with a sweet tooth can be reminded of what was missing in their town all these years.