The first sentence on its About Us page is “We’re not your normal ice cream shop.” That’s an understatement for West Central Microcreamery, where one can partake in inventive ice cream admixtures (made on-site!) such as Magic Carpet Ride (pistachio, fig, honey swirl), Can’t Catch Me (a vegan gingerbread cookie with an icing swirl) or sip a Kombucha float. You can order vanilla and chocolate, but that’d be like going to the Wonka Factory asking for a butterscotch hard candy.
Even its shop location is a bit eccentric – the ground level of the Sheridan Court Apartment in the West Central neighborhood. It’s an artfully delightful place that encapsulates the microcreamery’s whimsy. But they take their ice cream craft seriously, keeping batches small and upping the quality.
Opened in early 2019 by co-owners Jayson and Erin Eyanson, and Dave and Anita Kuker, the microcreamery has gained a following, with rave reviews on social media sites such as Yelp and Trip Advisor.
FWM: For people who don’t know about the microcreamery, what would you want people to know about this business?
JE: We’re not a traditional ice cream shop. We try to kind of turn the corner. That’s why we don’t label anything in our case. We want people to ask questions about different flavors. So, it’s just a different experience than at a regular ice cream place.
FWM: This may be a tough one, but what would you say are your top three favorite flavors?
JE: I’m a big fan of different varieties with lemon. We have flavors like lemon blueberry cheesecake, which is probably one of my all-time favorites. I’m also a big coffee ice cream guy, and we started using Utopian Coffee to flavor our ice cream or coffee ice creams. All of those are really good. I’m about to make one of my favorites: honey lavender ice cream. We just had another one of my favorites, which is maple pecan cheesecake.
FWM: What is the process of making the ice cream?
JE: We start with just a plain ice cream base and flavor it how we want. We try to use as many natural extracts, or oils and stuff like that. Then we do one batch at a time so we can focus on each flavor and have it exactly how we want to before we put it into the machine.
FWM: Knowing that Fort Wayne is rapidly growing in its “sweets and eats” food scene, how would you say that the microcreamery stands out?
JE: We believe we still are one of the only ones that still make everything on site. Making it ourselves also allows us to be as creative as we want. If somebody has a crazy idea, I am down to look at something, like “Can I make that orange? Pinstripe?” I think that is what sets us apart: just doing things that people don’t usually see anywhere else. We have some regulars and also our take on some of the “regular” stuff. We try to get very creative and very different as much as possible.
FWM: Do you usually take customer suggestions as to new flavors?
JE: Yeah, we write it down on a board, and if it sounds really interesting, I’ll put it on the to-do list and come up with a way to make it.
FWM: How often do you change the ice cream flavors on the board?
JE: It is a constant turnover. Since we only make one batch at a time, each batch of our regular ice creams is usually about five to six gallons. We only do one batch or so for each flavor, so once that batch is gone, we rotate in a new flavor. There’s always gonna be something new to try.
FWM: What motivates you?
JE: I think the creative aspect of it. Just customers coming in, seeing smiles, people trying new things. I love to get people to try new things. Too many people come in, they look for just vanilla, and I can only think, “Let’s try some other things before you have vanilla.” I love seeing their reactions to different flavors; it’s a lot of fun.
FWM: Where do you hope to be five years from now?
JE: Just continuing to get our name out there. Since we’re tucked away, it’s kind of hard to find us, but people are finding us more and more. That word-of-mouth is important for us to continue to grow and roll. Our huge goal is to eventually be able to wholesale to other businesses so they can use our ice cream as well. We’ve had a number of interested places reach out, but due to our location, we can’t do much right now.