Let’s say that you’re in the mood for ice cream. You load the family into the car and head out to get everyone a cone. Once you get to the shop, you and your clan walk in single file. You have reminded everyone to show no emotion and limit body movements, but little Billy has a hard time containing his energy on the best of days.
As you approach the counter, you place your order – making certain to use robotic-like tones. After getting your ice cream, you move over to the seating area, again, in single file. Each person sits at perfect attention, elbow bent at a right angle placing the cone directly in front of that individual’s chest. You commence to licking but are stricken with panic as you notice little Billy engaging in a horizontal lick instead of the required vertical motion. You quickly correct him. After a glance around the store, you see that no one has appeared to notice his infraction. You breathe a deep sigh of relief.
If this scenario sounds a bit odd for a family outing to the ice cream store, tell that to Polka Gelato. Based in London, England, this ice cream parlor looks as if it belongs in one of those movies where everyone turns into soulless drones instead of a fun, family-friendly ice cream shop. The decor is pure 1950s-fallout-bunker with concrete walls and floors. The seating appears to be upside down uneven waste baskets and the tables look something like bird baths gone wrong.
I don’t mean to appear mean-spirited, but someone should tell the owners that ice cream is suppose to be fun and chaotic. The whole eating process is one in which your tongue plays the dual role of eating the ice cream and protector of your hand from wayward drips. This shop looks as if you would face severe punishment if you allowed just a bit of ice cream to melt.
I do wish the good people at Polka Gelato well. I hope they enjoy tremendous success. But can I suggest making your shop a little more inviting? Try offering free balloons for the kids. And I think it goes without saying, please go with a bit of color and not gray ones.