A veteran Brazilian chef who has established artisan ice cream truck Froby's over the past month while parked at International Premium Outlets is seeking local retail space, with an aim to establish two storefronts in Orlando over the next year.
Using only fresh fruit, imported chocolate and organic ingredients, chef Daniel Rayol prepares made-to-order ice cream in front of customers and freezes it within seconds using liquid nitrogen, at -321 degrees Fahrenheit.
The rapid freezing process significantly reduces ice crystals in the product compared to traditional ice cream, giving it a smoother texture.
The white liquid nitrogen smoke and colorful lights on his Froby's truck have drawn crowds at the outlet mall, where Rayol just completed the first of a three-month contract with Simon Malls to operate in the parking lot.
Rayol moved to the United States in 1995 after graduating from business administration school, and later attended and graduated from culinary school at The Arts Institute of Las Vegas in 2000.
He went on to work at nearly a dozen restaurants around the country, earned U.S. citizenship, and returned to Brazil in 2009 to develop and host a Brazilian television show focused on culinary skills and travel.
His family relocated to Orlando within the past few years, and Rayol developed and opened Froby's this year with an uncle as equity partner.
"The outlet mall is great, but it's a different type of crowd," Rayol said. "Most who go to the mall are shopping-focused. I'd rather see us at a well-trafficked location where people are out to eat."
Rayol is in the process of developing a franchise program for Froby's, with attorneys helping prepare the legal framework. By the end of 2017 he'd like to have two or more fixed sales locations, freeing up the ice cream truck to attend more local events.
With his truck occupying about 150 square feet of space, Rayol is looking at pads in retail center parking lots of about 200 square feet he could lease to establish a regular presence with a semi-permanent container store or the truck, surrounded by portable tables and umbrellas.
He has yet to work with a commercial real estate broker on searching for available space.
Rayol is also considering kiosk space within shopping malls, or inline retail spaces starting at 500 square feet, an expansion step that would require Froby's to offer more menu items than currently on the truck.
"We'll need areas with high foot traffic where people spend time for leisure for the best chance at success," he said. "Initially, I'm drawn to areas of Winter Park, around Lake Eola and Winter Garden."