A Tad of Razzle Dazzle

By Mary Brewster

Mary Brewster chats with Michael and Julio Soriano, owners of Wonders Ice Cream! 

December 07, 2022

Welcome to Sparkle Scene! So WONDERful that I can chat with you two! So first, tell us a little bit about yourselves!
Julio Soriano: Thank you for taking the time to come speak with us! Michael and I have been married since December 2021. 
Michael Soriano: We have been foster parents to several children. Julio is originally from Guatemala, and I am originally from Iowa. 

Back in June, you became owners of Wonders Ice Cream. Congrats! Had you been looking at different business ventures? What made Wonders so appealing? 
 JS: Thank you! We had started looking at different businesses and trying to find something that could be ours that we loved to do! What made Wonders so amazing was how diverse it is; not only with the rich Thai culture, but the fact when we toured, the staff all introduced themselves and had a sense of pride and ownership and inclusiveness. 
MS: When we introduced ourselves, the employees embraced us right away and were so excited to have us. When we walked in the first store (our headquarters), we fell in love.

For those not familiar with Wonders, it’s not your typical ice cream shop; your ice cream is “rolled”! Tell us what the process is, and why rolled ice cream is better than scooped!
MS: We make all of our flavors in house from scratch. You won’t find our flavors anywhere else. It starts as a liquid base, then we add it to our freeze tables which are set at -20 degrees. Here we get to smash in some treats and mix the base and chop it until it turns to ice cream. We then spread it out evenly and use our tools to roll it up! 
JS: It’s not just delicious, it’s an amazing show to watch! 

What are some of your most popular flavors? 
MS: Our most popular items would have to be our Vietnamese Coffee or our Oreo Oreo. 

Wonders Ice Cream also isn’t just ice cream, what else is on the menu? 
JS: We also have a line of iced coffees, teas, and boba drinks!

In addition to your location at 298 University Avenue West (Saint Paul), you also have a food truck!  You’re building quite the empire! Do you have plans to further expand? And what events can we see you at in 2023? 
JS: Yes! We actually own the headquarters, two physical locations, and two mobile units already! Our other physical location is inside the Maplewood Mall; we just acquired this location from the franchisee. Our other locations are Appleton, Wisconsin, Burleson Texas, and Fresno California! In 2023, we will start planning for expansion!
MS: In the spirit of inclusion, we are in talks with making a kosher version of Wonders in Saint Louis Park to serve the Orthodox Jewish Community. Next year, you will be able to find us at various county fairs, pride festivals, the Minnesothai Festival, and several other miscellaneous events through the state! 
JS: Also a fun fact! As of right now, we have the capability of taking your orders in four languages; English, Spanish, Hmong, and ASL!  

Being new business owners, this must be a learning process? What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned in the last six months? 
JS: The biggest thing for us was to learn the financial acumen of the ice cream industry! 

And now the most obvious question; your life partners AND business partners: what’s it like working with each other!?! 
MS: Ha! We quickly learned we don’t necessarily always agree on business decisions; I am the spontaneous one that says let’s go! go! go! 
JS: I have to reign his creative mind…..the most important thing for us is to remember what happens at work stays at work; business is business, but our love is our love, and that we have to be strong together.  

Last thing! Where can we find you on social media? 
MS: You can find us on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram @wondersicecream 
Wonders is hosting its first annual “Toy Drive” to support children in need. Donations can be dropped off at their University Avenue location through the month of December.