By HAMZAH ALAM and SOFIA BUITRAGO-YEPES
September is one of the hottest months of the year here in Irvine. Students all crave delicious desserts that will alleviate from the scorching heat. There are many ice cream parlors scattered around the city and some are close to campus, one being the beloved store of Strickland’s. This chain, native to Ohio, has been a part of UHS history and student life for 15 years, but will sadly be closing its doors in January of 2019 due to disagreements with the Irvine Company over renewal. However, a new store that specializes in ice cream, Saffron and Rose, is set to open after Strickland’s closes, continuing on the history of ice cream at UHS.
Over these past 15 years, Strickland’s has had a profound influence on student life, being within walking distance from UHS and having a 10% student discount.
“Stricklands’ has always been a big part of my time here at Uni,” senior Michael Yu said. “It would be always be the first place me and my friends would go on minimum days, the Fridays before breaks, and the last day of school. The whole shop always had a welcoming feel to it, and it was fun to go there because we didn’t need a ride since we could just walk there.”
Sophomore Advait Arumugam agreed, saying, “During my first year at Uni, Strickland’s was always at the center of hang outs, celebrations, or any fun occasion. My favorite memory of the store was when me and my friends went there to hang out afterschool on a regular day… It was a great way to de-stress from the long school day since it was an easy way to chill, and hey, ice cream never hurt anyone, did it?”
Strickland’s is not only a place where students can relax with their friends, but also a great place for clubs to get involved in.
“Nothing But Nets [Club] did a lot of fundraisers at Strickland’s,” said Yu.
“It was a great place for them since we could always ask our friends if they wanted to come get some ice cream with us from Strickland’s,” he added. “Whenever somebody bought a cone, or a sundae, or anything, a part of the proceeds would go to the club’s fundraiser. So it was a pretty effective and easy way to get funds while also hanging out with friends and enjoying.”
The fact of the matter is, though, that Strickland’s will be closing.
However, Saffron and Rose will replace Strickland’s in March 2019, and with it will come a whole host of new flavors, experiences and legacies.
“We started the company in 1980 in Los Angeles, and over the past 40 years; we have specialized in a unique type of ice cream that has proven to be a bestseller,” said Saffron and Rose manager Fred Papen. “We started off with two flavors, saffron and rose, hence the name. Soon, we started expanding our menu to include some exotic and unique flavors, like orange blossom, cucumber, lavender and Nutella.”
Papen spoke about the environment that he wants to create at his new store.
“Ultimately, we want to not only provide good ice cream for our customers, but also establish a nice, fun and clean atmosphere where anyone… can just have a good time eating good quality ice cream,” Papen said. “We’re trying to get bright lighting set up in the shop, we’ll have high energy music playing and we’ll be trying to create an appealing, unique atmosphere.”
Papen also explained how he wants Saffron and Rose to integrate into the community.
“We’ll also have employment opportunities, both full-time and part-time, for high school students and college students, and we’ll try to hold a promo event every week, such as having half price on a certain time chunk of certain days.”
Of course, things will not be the same with Strickland’s gone, and as promising as Saffron and Rose looks, there will always be a couple of things that people will be ambivalent about.
“The bar is high for S&R because a lot of people loved Strickland’s so its replacement has to prove that it’s better in some way,” said junior Jaimin Patel. “I think it’ll be popular at first because new stores always have a big rush, but it will ultimately be what we make of it. If we treat it like nothing changed between it and Strickland’s, then it will have mostly the same feel and the same hype as Strickland’s. But if we decide that it’s not as good as Strickland’s, then…it’ll be difficult for people to accept it wholeheartedly.”
Some students had a more optimistic outlook on the new ice cream store.
“I don’t mind Strickland’s leaving since I was never too personally attached to it, but I will definitely miss some of the more exciting flavors, like the hot sundae,” said senior Isha Sharma. “But I’m also excited for some of the new flavors, and who knows, maybe they will taste better than the ones at Strickland’s.”
Ultimately, even though Strickland’s is an essential part of UHS culture and has been for the past 15 years, students will have to say goodbye to it. But, it will not be the end for the ice cream tradition at UHS.
Students can continue to visit Strickland’s Ice Cream until after January 2019.