In the nick of time for summer, Betty Ringer, the ice cream shop at Sylvan Thirty, is about to debut. The shop comes from Stephen Smith, founder of Nib Chocolates, and will celebrate its soft opening on July 14.
It'll go into the empty space next to S30 Colectivo Pop Up Shop, and will offer ice cream as well as some of Smith's well-known confections, including his signature caramels.
Smith got hands-on experience in the world of running your own shop while he worked at Hey Sugar, a sweet shop in Roanoke. "I love ice cream and always thought about opening a place," he says. He's been working on the space for nearly a year.
He'll do about 10 flavors of ice cream, plus cookies and, on weekends, chocolates and caramels. He'll also do drinking chocolate when it gets cooler.
He's not using a pre-made ice cream base, which a lot of places do, but is making everything — the ice cream, the waffle cones, the cookies, the chocolate — from scratch.
Flavors he's crafted include sweet corn with blackberry jam; Thai tea; cajeta; milk chocolate with peanuts and burnt caramel; caramelized banana pudding; and cinnamon horchata, made with long grain rice, canela, almonds, and vanilla.
One special flavor, ube, reflects Smith's Filipino heritage.
"Ube is a purple yam used quite a bit in desserts in the Philippines," he says. "It's sometimes confused with taro, which is similar, but ube is very purple on the inside and has a nice floral note. In the Philippines, my memory of ube ice cream was with the little cubes of cheese mixed in."
The lineup of flavors will always include one sorbet, such as mango, lemon, or raspberry ginger; and one vegan ice cream made from house-made cashew milk and coconut milk, such as raspberry chocolate chip.
He'll also do ice cream cookie sandwiches, such as peanut butter and brownie ice cream sandwiched between coconut pecan cookies. And for those who can't decide, he's doing a line of miniature cones, to be used in special desserts such as flights and samplers.
The opening on July 14 will be from 5-9 pm. Hours will be Sunday-Thursday 12-9 pm, and Friday-Saturday 12-10 pm.