Little Havana's Azucar Ice Cream Company is headed 1,300 miles west to the Lone Star State. This summer, owner Suzy Battle will take her Cuban-inspired ice-cream concept to Dallas.
"My mom is 88 years old now, and she decided to move to Dallas a while back," Battle says. "I've been back and forth since my kids left to college, and I found a place with a lot of potential. It has a Coconut Grove vibe to it."
The shop, which will look identical to the flagship on Calle Ocho, is expected to open June 15. Battle plans to relocate to Dallas for six months to get the shop up and running.
"Dallas has a similar demographic to Miami," she says. "There's a lot of diversity. It's time to take the next step."
In Miami, Azucar has served frozen treats with Cuban flair since 2011. Inspired by owner Battle’s abuela, the flavors could only be dreamed up in Miami. For years, Battle has churned out flavors such as flan, café con leche, plátano maduro (sweet plantain), and Abuela María, made with vanilla ice cream with ripe guava, chunks of cream cheese, and crushed Maria cookies ($4 and up). In November 2016, days after the announcement of Castro's death, Battle debuted the flavor Burn in Hell, Fidel! — featuring chocolate ice cream with a kick of cayenne.
The Azucar in Texas will offer a similar roster of flavors, as well as a selection of new varieties using local fruits and vegetables.
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"Once I prove myself in Dallas, I think I could take this national," Battle says. "But I'll always make sure it stays artisanal and small-batch. I want to keep it small enough where it still tastes delicious and is clearly made with love."
Looking back at the past decade, Battle, a former banker who began making ice cream when the industry plummeted in 2008, never thought Azucar would go this far.
"It's like I'm on a ride and I'm never getting off," she says. "I always thought I'd put my kids through college and retire. But this has become bigger than any dream I could have imagined. It's bigger than me now."
Azucar Ice Cream Company. 1503 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305-381-0369; azucaricecream.com