The Dolly Llama specializes in desserts, not llamas or Tibetan religious figures. The new ice cream parlor, which is located steps away from UNLV on Maryland Parkway, has an aptitude for waffle-making.
The Los Angeles-based franchise opened its doors to customers in Las Vegas on Sept. 17.
Dolly is a real llama, and she lives on a farm in France, according to the shop’s website. Dolly embodied a “positive” spirit, and so businessmen Samuel Baroux and Eric Shomof decided to use her as the brand’s image. The page says that she represents creativity, sociability and having fun, elements that can be found within The Dolly Llama’s atmosphere.
The atmosphere is what Charlene Davis, co-owner and manager said sets The Dolly Llama apart from other dessert parlors in Las Vegas.
“We’re really big on presentation; [The Dolly Llama is] Instagram trendy,” Davis said. “We see a lot of the customers and students come in here, and they get to customize their own desserts and they’re taking pictures with them.”
Dolly’s name even carries over to the menu. Davis stated that the top-selling item is the Dolly Llama shake, which consists of a distinctive type of ice cream.
“We have our signature Ultimate Cookie Monster ice cream,” Davis said. “It’s blue, it’s vanilla-flavored and it has cookie dough and Oreos in it.”
The Dolly Llama offers two varieties of waffles: a Hong Kong-style bubble waffle and an OG Liege waffle. Davis notes that the bubble waffle is “light, fluffy and airy,” while the OG Liege has a more “traditional” taste with a crunch and firmness to it.
Customer Bradley Harris partook in both the Cookie Monster ice cream and bubble waffle experience when he ordered Dolly’s Dream. This gourmet dessert combines the ice cream with strawberry slices, brownie bites, Nutella drizzle and bubble waffle into one. It can also be ordered in the OG Liege waffle style.
“My favorite part was that the waffle wasn’t like a normal waffle cone,” Harris said. “The waffle was fresh out of the oven, and it was still warm as I was eating it.”
These made-to-order treats are popular among college students, which Davis stated are some of the biggest clientele at The Dolly Llama right now.
“[Business has been] steady,” she said. “We’ve been getting a lot of students, of course because the semester just started. There’s a lot of great foot traffic over here in University Plaza.”
The Dolly Llama currently gives students a 10% discount every day of the week. On the newly implemented “Rebel Tuesdays,” students receive a 20% discount on their orders.
In addition to the current location, locals can expect to see four more locations around Las Vegas. This is in agreement with a five-store deal that allows The Dolly Llama to expand across the valley.
Customers can also anticipate the shop’s seasonal product, pumpkin spice ice cream. This Halloween treat is topped with a ghost marshmallow, a cookie and candy corn, and is available only for a limited time.
What lies ahead for The Dolly Llama is growth, Davis said. She wants to see the shop get its name out into the Las Vegas community, and to remain a student and family friendly establishment.
“[The Dolly Llama] is very unique and has a great feel,” Davis said.
The Dolly Llama is open every Sunday through Friday from noon until 10 p.m., and on Saturdays from noon until 11 p.m.