As roommates both on a pre-med track, Tony Alexander and Murtaza Bandukwala found themselves running to the store three to four nights a week to get ice cream during homework sessions.
“We are tired of us constantly going to 7-Eleven or going to [Fresh Grocer] and just spending a lot of money just to buy ice cream,” said Bandukwala, a senior biology major.
This semester, Alexander, a senior biology major, and Bandukwala created TUCreamery, a student-run ice cream delivery service on Main Campus. They run the business through @tucreamery on Instagram, where they take direct message orders and post weekly menus.
Around Temple’s campus, pints of ice cream retail between $5-6 at stores like Fresh Grocer, 7-Eleven and CVS, according to their websites. TUCreamery resells pints of ice cream and delivers them for $6 each.
“No one can beat a pint of ice cream for $6 and they know it,” Bandukwala said.
The business has received 65 orders since opening on Jan. 13. It’s open for delivery from Monday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Friday to Saturday from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Customers can pre-order throughout the day and schedule their delivery times.
Alexander and Bandukwala buy bulk pints of ice cream from BJ’s Wholesale Club and Walmart to have a range of flavors of Ben and Jerry’s, Häagen-Dazs and HALO TOP,” Alexander said. The two stockpile their ice cream in a freezer in their apartment.
The business changes their menu selection every week based on Alexander’s online research of the most popular flavors of each ice cream brand, he said.
Students have requested the menu to expand to offer vegan and dairy-free products, which Alexander and Bandukwala plan to add in the future.
“TUCreamery is a really good idea that a student created,” said Alexandra Pietralczyk, a freshman psychology major. “I got one pint, and I thought the price was reasonable because of the type of ice cream that I got the first time.”
TUCreamery is a local business, which makes Pietralczyk more inclined to support it, rather than national snack delivery services like GoPuff.
“Convenience is everything and I don’t wanna go to 7-Eleven to pick up ice cream,” said Kunti Patel, a junior marketing major.
TUCreamery is Alexander and Bandukwala’s first business and they make all of its deliveries. Most of TUCreamery’s earnings go back into the business to buy more ice cream, which they’ve invested around $300 in so far, Alexander estimates. He expects them to turn a profit next month, he added.
However, TUCreamery’s business model is accommodating because they “listen to what students want,” said Bandukwala.
“From start to finish, it was good business,” said Michael Tedla, a sophomore undeclared major. “They work with me really well, they have a good selection of flavors. I got a flavor that I really like. I don’t really have to step outside.”
Alexander feels satisfaction from personally delivering ice cream and connecting with students, he said. He added they want to expand their business and continue it after graduation.
“I say in a year, we want, at least have a few employees and a few more delivery people and a lot more organized infrastructure as a business,” Alexander said.
Bandukwala said he and Alexander enjoy using the business as a way for them to bond over sweets with other students.
“To be able to do this is very satisfying for us, just be able to provide this type of option to other students on campus,” Bandukwala said. “We’re both able to see the potential for TUCreamery.”