By mid-summer, Montreal-founded ice cream chain La Diperie will have a much larger presence — the retailer of soft serve dipped in chocolate, caramel, and other sweet coatings will have five times as many stores as it did last season.
Starting out from just one location in the Plateau (on Pins) in 2014, founders Sam Arif and Francisco Landaeta quickly found a market for the novel take on soft serve. Their first franchise landed last summer in NDG, and three more followed (including a Toronto location). A whopping 20 more are either open or opening soon — soon, there’ll be a total of 21 in the Montreal area (including outer suburban spots like Blainville and Vaudreuil), along with two in Toronto, a Trois-Rivières location, and one in Coaticook, in the Eastern Townships.
A big explanation for the vast number of new stores is that the company was bought by food franchising company MTY Food Group last December, which owns numerous other chains, mostly in the fast food sector — Sushi Shop, Thai Express, and Jugo Juice, to name a few. Geographically speaking, La Diperie is a bit of a different property for the food service giant: while many other MTY brands tend to be downtown-centric, food court kind of spots, La Diperie is gravitating much more towards residential neighbourhoods, with St-Henri and Griffintown locations in the works, alongside already-open locations in spots like Little Italy.
Arif tells Eater that he is still guiding many of the operations, including training new Diperie owners in the art of dipping ice cream into melted toppings. Many of the new franchisees are relative newcomers to the food business — Arif says it’s a popular franchise for families to open, likely due to the relatively family-friendly hours of an ice cream operation (comparative to a restaurant or cafe).
All new Diperies follow the same format, and have the same base selection of flavoured dips — each store then selects a number of extra dip flavours, from green tea to lemonade, so there’s some variety in the offerings. Arif tells Eater that beyond ice cream, it’s likely La Diperie will add hot chocolate and cake to the menu, to keep stores open during the colder months when ice cream is less appealing.
Here’s the full list of Diperies, both new and established, for the Montreal area.
- Saint-Henri (4600 Notre-Dame West, opening June)
- Vaudreuil (address TBA)
- Griffintown (address TBA)
- Plateau (Mont-Royal Avenue, exact address TBA)
- Downtown (near Concordia, exact address TBA)
- Gay Village (1481 Sainte-Catherine East)
- Pointe-Claire (301 Bord-du-Lac)
- Ville St-Laurent (959 Decarie)
- Marché Central (1029 Marché Central)
- Blainville (9 de la Seigneurie East)
- Côte-des-Neiges (5647 Côte-des-Neiges)
- Vimont (2271 Laurentides, Laval)
- Laval-des-Rapides (34 Cartier West)
- Little Italy (6786 St-Laurent)
- Longueuil (345 St-Charles West)
- Lasalle (7775 Newman)
- Old Montreal (170 Saint-Amable)
- Repentigny (358 Notre-Dame West)
- Plateau (68 Pins West — open since 2014)
- NDG (5582 Monkland — open since 2016)
- Dollard-des-Ormeaux (47 Brunswick — open since 2016)