In 2018, I decided that I was finished with the corporate world. With a stay-at-home wife and 3 daughters, I resigned from my company and the “security” it offered. We sold everything we owned that did not fit in our minivan and just drove. We were leaving Colorado going “home” to Sarasota where I had grown up and attended Phillippi Shores, Pine View & Riverview High where I graduated. I needed something that was mine. I needed beauty, nature, joy, mentorship both given and received, something where I could use my body and my mind & especially, I needed creativity. I always felt like an artist without a medium. I did not know what that was going to be. I did not even know where we were going to live yet as we drove through Kansas. I prayed for one thing. A mentor. Someone old who had a skill to pass down to someone hungry to receive it.
In 2019, Dennis Yoder age 86, a local ice cream legend and the world’s kindest man, had just opened Siesta Creamery. Too old to run it and with no family members able to take it over, Dennis prayed. He prayed for me! Long story short, we found each other, and I operate in gratitude for that gift every day and put that ❤️ into every scoop- the ice cream itself, as well as the way it is served to our guests.
We are not in the ice cream business. We are in the making people feel good business. Nobody comes in hungry. They come in to experience joy and hopefully the best ice cream they’ve ever had as well, but first, joy. I watched how he would connect with guests and tell them all about the little details of the ice cream. I had never seen that before and that was when I knew, “I want this! I can do this!”
Memories: are fundamental in my recipe creation because of how profoundly they are connected to smell and taste. I ask myself "What is it specifically that people connect with in this flavor?" From there, I lean into that and use other ingredients to round out and balance the flavor.
The Best Dairy: I use the highest quality, richest dairy which allows me to use aroma much more effectively, creating a fuller, deeper, and more complete flavor that can “open up” and sequence, akin to a wine. (rBST-free, local, gluten free, egg free, kosher, organically sweetened)
If I can make it better, I make it better: From my fresh homemade waffle cone recipe to the fresh fruit, locally roasted espresso, roasted nuts, & premium Madagascar vanilla beans. I want the authenticity of the flavors to be undeniable. Fresh, real, local, house-made ingredients.
❤️: I cannot believe that I get to support my family doing something I ❤️ so much. Each scoop represents someone supporting my dream and supporting my daughter’s soccer or summer camp, but most importantly, they get to see what can happen when you finally bet on yourself and go after what you ❤️.