“My favourite ice-cream chain in Edmonton”
Review by Jayden Yang
photos: @madebymarcus on Instagram
Hidden between Ten Thousand Villages and Glam Sam Clothiers’ on Whyte Ave, you might just accidentally miss this place passing by—I know I have. Nevertheless, the alley way leading to the store really sets the mood of my visit. The lights and shade give off a sense of calmness, and surprisingly, intimacy.
Once inside (roughly the size of your average Tim-Hortons), the minimalist decorations and pastel colors guide my attention towards the huge menu texts on the wall: Malted Chocolate Honeycomb, Duchess Earl Grey & Raspberry Financier, Moonshine Brown Butter Pecan—the choices ambushes me all at once.
There are 9 signature flavours, 3 seasonal ones, and 3 vegan—my vegan friend says the vegan versions taste amazing. They all sound so good that I can’t decide. Standing there a little overwhelmed, the friendly worker smiles at me, “Would you like to try a sample?”
“Can I try all of them?” I joke.
“Of course! Which ones would you like?” I wasn’t expecting that, but I’m not giving up such a fine offer.
“The Moonshine Brown Butter Pecan sounds interesting. Never heard of that combination before.”
“It’s one of our most popular items”. She takes out a little cup and scoops in a white ball with light-brown pecans. “Here you go!” I take a spoonful with the coldness still lingering in the air as it lands in my mouth.
My eyes widen and my eyebrows jump. The texture is so creamy and light, firm, but not too hard melting in my mouth gently. The fragrance of the moonshine is perfectly balanced, not giving off a stench or an after-taste. The crunch of the refreshing pecans cuts through the creamy dairy and butter, introducing a new texture and flavour. I can tell how much complexity and thought went behind this one bite. The unorthodox ingredients welds perfectly with one another elevating the piece.
“Wow. This is amazing.” I pause. “Can I try the Duchess Earl Grey & Raspberry Financier?” She scoops me another sample with a beautiful red swirl. Again, it’s so smooth and light swimming in my mouth; the fragrance of the earl grey fills my nostrils, adding a layer of sophistication. The raspberry elevates it further by introducing a fresh citrusy tinge, contrasting and pulling the best out of the cream and earl grey while keeping everything completely balanced. This is one of the best ice-cream I’ve had from Edmonton.
After 10 minutes of sampling and struggling to decide what to get, I finally went with the Ice-cream Flight that the worker recommended me. It’s 4 scoops of your choosing placed together on a foam plate. Behind me, a small line is forming at 6pm on a Wednesday. I ask her if it’s always this busy.
“Usually the place is busier on weekends. You should see the line in the summer. It reaches all the way outside.” She laughs and hands me the machine. My flight costs $10, and one scoop with the waffle cone costs $6, and $5 without. Two scoops costs $8, and $7 without.
As I’m paying, I notice multiple freezers filled with ice-cream behind her. “No way. You guys also sell your own tubs?” She smiles. I shouldn’t be surprised by such a simple thing, but nevertheless I was impressed, just like this whole experience. “I’m definitely going to get a tub next time I come.” For an additional dollar, you can upgrade your cup to a handmade waffle cone; fill up their score card with 7 scoops, and you’ll get the next one for free.
Because people usually get their ice-cream and leave, the store inside doesn’t feel packed even when it’s busy. There’s enough space for wheelchair users, and even when there’s a line-up outside during the summer, the buildings around the store provides great shade and cooling. No risk in getting a heat-stroke while waiting here.
Furthermore, the atmosphere inside doesn’t get frustratingly loud. There are enough seats (although not the softest) for those who want to stay and chat. There is only one shared bathroom here, but the inside is spacious and clean with a diaper station.
If anyone is familiar with Whyte Ave, they’ll know that the parking is awful. There aren’t many spots outside the store, but if you’re willing to look and walk 5 minutes then parking shouldn’t be an issue. For public transit, there are many buses that run on Whyte. Made By Marcus opens from 12-10pm Sunday to Thursdays, and 12-11pm on Friday and Saturdays
Along with Baskin-Robbins and Marble Slab Creamery, Made By Marcus now joins my list of favourite ice-cream chains, and is my favourite ice-cream place in Edmonton. Not only are their flavours unorthodox and highly addictive, the excitement of waiting in line makes me feel like a kid again—like all great ice-cream should.
Made by Marcus
10426 82 Ave NW, Edmonton