Cuba’s Renowned Ice-Cream Parlor & its Notorious “Hollow Scoops”

Jimmy Roque Martinez

Waiting to get in to the Coppelia Ice Cream Parlor.  Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES – Cuba’s official press and blogs have published several articles dealing with product thefts at Havana’s Coppelia ice-cream parlor. Specificially, there are reports of so-called “hollow scoops.”

A “hollow scoop” is a scoop of ice-cream that’s round and full on the outside but hollow on the inside.

My boyfriend and I go to this ice-cream parlor regularly and we always have to ask to be served again, because we always get hollow scoops.

This week, I decided to go see an official and hear, first hand, what those responsible had to say, why this happens and what the managers of Coppelia are doing to prevent such bad service.

I couldn’t see the manager, so I spoke with a Customers Service representative and the Secretary for the ice-cream parlor’s Communist Party core group.

These officials told me that, when a customer experiences this or any other kind of mistreatment, they should approach the area manager or the Customer Services Office. When I specifically asked how the company’s control mechanisms worked and what they did to prevent bad service, they mentioned a number of things.

According to them, the issue is brought up every morning with the workers and managers (they have a manager for every wing or area). The area manager is the person responsible for ensuring the quality of the service.

The Party Secretary also told me that they are open to any suggestion as to how to improve services from the population.

I stressed that customers have the right to demand good service and to get full scoops of ice-cream, but that it was the ice cream parlor’s responsibility to ensure that happens. In principle, the customer should not have to worry about being conned.

I left that office convinced we would continue to see hollow scoops of ice-cream, that I would be back to tell them the service had not improved and to demand they assume responsibility for this. I hope to be able to go back with suggestions and a printed copy of this post.

We, the customers, must work to stop this practice once and for all. I did not get the impression that the officials at Coppelia are committed to offering a quality service.

Jimmy Roque Martinez

Jimmy Roque Martinez: I was born in Havana in 1979, and it seems that work has been my sign. Custodian, fish farmer, lens carver, welder, glass maker, optometrist, have been some of my trades. But none consumes as much of my time as caring for my family. For many years I’ve faced the least pretty face of this society, and I try to be happy while I transform it. I am too shy. I like silence, sleep, theater and movies. I hate injustice and arrogance, and I can hardly contain my anger when it happens in front of me.

2 thoughts on “Cuba’s Renowned Ice-Cream Parlor & its Notorious “Hollow Scoops”

  • From where I am sitting , the consumption of ice cream and other high sugar products leads to obesity,poor health and that is why ice cream is over rated.
    Some nations, whom are probably condenming me , are literally “fat pigs”.They
    consume everything within their sight even when on some one elses plate.
    I am sorry for you and your boy friend was it? That your hollow view does not see the truth of the situation. Neit my problem.
    I would however like to point out to this Moses guy that you obviously don’t
    have a clue about the Courage and intestinal fortitude that has carried Cuba
    and for the most part molded a people whom are free of the obesity that plagues these gluttenous pigs.
    The Cuban people are remarkably fit and exceptionally attractive as well as
    well mannered and highly educated,God has provided Cuban men with great
    love with these beautiful women,most dont even need make up.
    Every people has their problems, the majority of people on this planet wish they had Cuba’s problems.
    I do not wish to offend but must defend what is the truth.
    Thank you

  • So the Cuban Communist Party involves itself in the ice cream business Hahahaha! In case anyone is still clueless, why do the employees hollow out the ice cream in the first place? Because the ice cream left over is sold for the private benefit of the employees. Pure and simple theft. The Castros ‘New Man’ is a black market ice cream dealer. If this weren’t so much a part of the Cuban reality, it would not be believable. Cubans scrimp and save a few pesos here and there to afford a frickin’ few scoops of ice cream at Coppelia’s and end up getting ripped off. After standing in a line stretched out for more than a block at times in the hot Havana sun, the least you should expect is that you get all that you pay for. What Jimmy didn’t mention is that the ice cream scoop is not only hollowed out but the ‘cream’ in the ice cream is missing and the result is this tasteless frozen milk that you wouldn’t eat if you bought it anywhere other than Cuba. They toss in these tiny, stale vanilla wafers to fill out the bowl and even those cookies that I am told are getting smaller and fewer. The Castros can even screw up an ice cream parlor.

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