New Cocoa Beach shop creates its own ice cream tacos

Sweet Rolled Tacos chain started in California; Brevard County shop is 1st in Florida

Kylie Hickey scrapes strawberry ice cream off a sub-zero-degree plate into a roll to make a strawberry cheesecake taco (Suzy Fleming Leonard/Florida Today)

COCOA BEACH, Fla. – While the nation mourned the demise of Choco Taco ice cream treats Tuesday, a line formed at the counter of Sweet Rolled Tacos in Cocoa Beach.

They’re not really the same thing, said Brad Deason, who owns the shop with his wife Shelly, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.

Yes, both are sugar cone taco shells stuffed with ice cream. But while Choco Tacos are topped with chocolate and nuts and packaged to sell from ice cream trucks and convenience store freezers, Sweet Rolled Tacos are custom-made to order on sub-zero-degree metal plates.

Another difference?

Klondike, which makes Choco Taco, confirmed Monday that it is discontinuing the product, which has been around since 1983.


The Deasons, who opened their shop in a plaza off State Road A1A on June 15, are just getting started.

Tuesday afternoon, a steady stream of people came through the Sweet Rolled Taco doors and watched as ice cream artists worked. It’s a complicated, but entertaining, process that takes two to three minutes per taco.

Liquid cream is poured onto a metal plate that’s cooled to -24 degrees. Extras, such as brownies, Cap’n Crunch, oatmeal pie or cheesecake are added. Using two dough scrapers, the ice cream artist spreads the cream on the cold plate and chops in the extras.

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After a few rounds of mixing, chopping and spreading, the cream starts to harden. The artist spreads it into a thin rectangle on the plate, then scrapes it into a thick roll. The roll of ice cream is placed into a red, blue or pink sugar taco shell, then decorated with whipped cream, syrup and sprinkles.

Sweet Rolled Tacos started in 2017 in California. The Cocoa Beach store is the 10th in the country and the first in Florida.

Deason said they came across the franchise by accident. On March 9, the couple headed to Disney to celebrate daughter Cooper’s 10th birthday.

The Deasons parked at the Magic Kingdom and struck up a conversation with another family while on the boat to the park. The man showed the Deasons a photo of six colorful rolled ice cream tacos. The man gave Deason a business card as the families parted ways.

“The colors, the taco shells, just blew my mind,” Deason said. “The conversation stayed in my mind. I emailed him later that week.”

The Deasons drove to Orlando and tried the ice cream.

“It was the best ice cream I’d ever eaten,” he said.

They decided to jump into the business. Within three months, they’d spruced up a former smoothie shop and Sweet Rolled Tacos was open in Cocoa Beach.

“There’s been a huge outpouring of support from the community,” Deason said.

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Sometimes people wait up to 45 minutes for their ice cream.

Most don’t seem to mind. Deason credits his staff for that. They keep up a friendly banter with customers while working, and it’s fun to watch the tacos being made.

It’s also in the ingredients, he said. All are high quality, including for the teas, lemonades, smoothies and slushies. Because the company was started by Vietnamese brothers, Asian treats are on the menu, such as Vietnamese coffee with hazelnut, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate and sea salt foam; and ube ice cream, a bright purple concoction served with toasted coconut and whipped cream.

Tacos cost $8.25-$9.25. Lactose-free and vegan versions are available.

While the store is a franchise, Deason said they have leeway to develop their own flavors, which makes it possible to partner with local businesses. The Oatrageous ice cream taco features oatmeal cream pie from The Sweet Heartest, a Melbourne bakery.

An official grand opening is scheduled for 4-6 p.m. Aug. 12. In the meantime, Deason is getting to know his customers — mostly locals during the day, tourists in the evenings — and enjoying the set of coincidences that led him to Sweet Rolled Tacos.

The demise of Choco Tacos just as the shop is getting started is another coincidence. The Klondike treats were sentimental favorites.

Genevieve Jones of Merritt Island hated to see them go.

“They really are like time traveling treats,” she said. “The nostalgic feeling from eating one shoots me right back to days at the pool when the ice cream truck would come around.”

But she’s eager to give the locally made confection a try.

“Who doesn’t love a taco? Who doesn’t love ice cream?” Deason said. “When you put them together?”

What’s not to love?

Sweet Rolled Tacos is at 5240 N. Atlantic Ave. Unit 140, Cocoa Beach. Call 321-417-6788 or visit or Hours are 2-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 2-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.