Best friends Maliyah Bass and Bariangela Segovia have turned a dessert food truck business into a thriving — and unique — storefront ice cream parlor, Rolled 4 Ever Ice Cream. In just four years of operation, the entrepreneurial duo has opened its second brick-and-mortar location.
The first shop opened up in October 2020 in Nashville’s thriving Germantown neighborhood during the pandemic. Their new shop is open for business and located just 24 miles away in Smyrna. It will serve their signature Thai-style rolled ice cream as well as the same menu from the food truck. It’s located one street over from their alma mater, La Vergne High School.
“We actually became friends when, I think I was 7 and [Bass] was 8,” Segovia said. “We played little league basketball together and we’re in like the same denomination church. And so I think that’s kind of how we clicked,” says Segovia. “We went skating one Friday together and we’ve literally been friends since.”
Both ladies agreed that the foundation of their friendship is built around balance and having the same morals and values. This foundation has helped them be in business together.
“We always say that the reason why our friendship is so strong like it is, is because we both have the same values and morals. Our morals align, so that helps us in our day to day,” Bass tells Finurah. “But I think that also we’re very different yet we’re so similar and we don’t mind telling each other when we’re wrong. So we have a really — like, we have a good balance.”
Rolled 4 Ever Ice Cream started with just a food truck in 2018. Bass and Segovia dreamed up the idea for their ice cream business after a spring break trip to New York. While in college at the time, both women decided to hold off on launching the business until after graduation.
Bass, 26, now holds a degree in biology from Middle Tennessee State University, while Segovia, 25, studied international business at Belmont University. Like most business owners, they’ve endured their share of trials and tribulations since quitting their full-time positions, including paying for their food truck all on their own.
“We solely pretty much did it off of the jobs that we had — our individual jobs at the time. We were pretty much fresh out of college, so we were still living at home with family,” Segovia continues. “We didn’t really have a lot of bills per se. So we were able to allocate lots of our paycheck towards funding the food truck. And also starting up a food truck is a lot lower cost than getting, like, a brick-and-mortar.”
While the pandemic put a strain on most businesses in 2020, Bass and Segovia were busy developing a strategy and planned to open their first location. They used profits from the food truck, along with bank loans, and other avenues in order to gain funding for their first storefront location. But, it was challenging to obtain funding when people “are just questioning our seriousness on all levels has been a challenge,” says Bass.
Despite the challenges, the two young entrepreneurs remained motivated.
“We got so many noes, and it’s crazy because just looking at our success, it seems like everything is just so fine and dandy. But we’ve gotten thousands of noes before we got that one yes,” Bass explains. “And just to think about if we would have stopped, like when we did get those noes instead of like persevering and continuing to pivot and change directions, we wouldn’t be where we are today. And the ‘yes’ wouldn’t feel so glorious in a sense.”
She adds, “But one thing that I’ve learned just from hearing other people congratulate Bari and I, is that we have courage and a lot of people don’t have courage to just start. So I think that’s why people are motivated by us in a sense, because we have the courage to actually do instead of just talking about it. And I think that it takes a lot of courage to do something like this.”
Segovia believes that courage comes from their “great support system” of family and friends who “back us and support us a lot.”
Each Rolled 4 Ever location is bursting with brightly colored walls and a neon sign that reads, “Rolling with Women in Business.” The saying’s intent is to inspire women from all walks of life to go after their dreams and “pivot” when necessary, the two owners say.
Rolled 4 Ever goodies are prepared right before your eyes on a cold-top plate that turns liquid base to ice cream. The ice cream is then rolled, scooped into a cup and topped with a variety of sweets, treats and fruits like Oreos, other cookies, apples, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, and more.
Since launching, the business has expanded with exciting new flavors, merch, and partnerships with other local Black-owned businesses like The Cupcake Collection and Nashville pizza joint, Slim & Husky’s. They also sell handcrafted pints of ice creams including non-dairy and gluten-free options. You can even book the Rolled 2 Ever Ice Cream Truck for personal and professional events. Their ultimate goal is to fully staff both stores in Smyrna and Nashville in order to focus on the company food truck.