The Curled story
The development of Curled commenced in 2016 when Craig and Darlene Finck took a gamble and imported two double ice cream cold plate machines from China. They were intrigued by the idea of making ice cream in such a novel way and thought it would be a great foundation for a business. The fun performance of the ice cream being produced would attract customers and with a high quality product it would keep them coming back.
At the time the most common recipe for ice cream made on the cold plates used powdered milk and powdered soft serve mix. This combination rolled well and looked amazing, but the taste and texture was not up to the standard that Curled wanted to produce.
The Finck family extensively researched ice cream recipes and eventually developed the high-end ice cream base Curled uses today. The Curled ice cream base is made with fresh full cream milk and cream.
Curled then went on to develop their ten core flavours: Raspberry, Mango Madness, Mint Condition, Milo Magic, Nutta Butta, Coffee Chilled, Salted Caramel, Double Choc, Oreogami and Choconana.
Curled first traded in January 2017 at a local Market in Darwin – the Rapid Creek Market. Curled’s beginnings were modest. The Finck family worked together with their imported machines under a marquee.
The interest sparked by this new form of ice cream making was instant. People at the markets wandered over to see what was happening and purchased an ice cream just to see the process. They were even more surprised when they tasted the Curls. They were AMAZING! The Curls were smooth, creamy, and tasted divine.
Curled started the development of regular specials. This helped to meet requests from customers and allowed Curled to continually add variety to the Curled menu.
Curled’s customers kept returning for more of this delicious ice cream. The business grew swiftly as word spread. Soon we were in demand at three markets in the Darwin region. Curled expanded to include roadside stops, private events, and corporate events.
The concept of sharing this business idea with others in the form of Franchising began. The process of documenting all operations and the development of a training program commenced.
Curled’s growth in popularity and demand saw us trading at multiple events per week. The logistics behind setting up, packing up and transporting Curled equipment and stock demanded a large amount of time and work. It was time to simplify this process and dramatically decrease the time and hard work involved. Thus, the first Curled trailer was designed and constructed.
The Curled Trailer was specifically engineered to enable ergonomic mobilisation, set up/pack up and operation. It dramatically reduced the work required in all aspects of Curled production. It has been a game changer for Curled. We can now trade with one trailer at multiple locations per day with short set up and pack up times. Ice cream production is also faster as everything needed to make the Curls is at the Ice Cream Artisans fingertips.
Curled’s growth was still hampered by ongoing issues with the imported machines. They were unreliable and parts were hard to get. This saw Curled having to fully retrofit many of the imported cold plates. Initially we thought to buy other brands of machines. After buying three other machines (all different brands) we realised that the imported machines were not going to be reliable enough to move forward with the business.
Curled came up with the solution – design and construct Curled’s own cold plates. These plates use high grade stainless steel and components, that are readily available in Australia. The Curled plates have proved to be extremely reliable.
The development of the first Curled Trailer in 2019 saw Curled employ its first fulltime employee alongside it’s 10 casual staff members. By 2021 Curled needed to construct a second trailer and required it’s second fulltime employee. This saw the number of casual employees grow to 20.
Curled continues to grow in demand and popularity. Staff are often approached by customers coming from interstate or overseas who tell them that they specifically looked for Curled after receiving recommendations from family or friends. Requests for private and corporate events have seen curled at a large number of weddings, parties, and functions. Curled is also continuously being contacted by event coordinators requesting our presence at their events. Currently the two trailers are performing up to 14 events per week.
In early 2022 Curled received assistance from the Northern Territory Government to develop and review legal aspects of Franchising their business. Curled worked with a Franchise Lawyer throughout 2022 to finalise the Curled Franchise package. Curled registered as a Franchise with the ACCC in November 2022.
Curled is currently building two more purpose designed trailers to facilitate the commencement of new franchisees. These trailers are due for completion in May 2023. Once these trailers are completed Curled will commence a national marketing campaign seeking expressions of interest from prospective franchisees.
For further information on Curled franchising go to: