Miami's latest craft ice cream concept, Sweet Melody, is whimsical.
Flavors like brie and apricot, pecan and bourbon, lemon ginger, and blueberry cheesecake are just a smattering of the more than 40 varieties owner/creator Mike Romeu has developed.
Beginning July 4, Romeu will launch his ice cream at a bimonthly pop-up inside the YVE Hotel Miami, taking his unconventional treats mainstream.
"I've always had a passion for food," he says. "And I've always wanted to do something with it. I never went to school for it, so I basically taught myself."
Melody, Romeu's 4-year-old daughter, served as the inspiration to transform his admiration for food into a full-time gig. A Miami native, he's worked in the food and beverage industry his entire life but decided about six months ago to go rogue, following his dream of creating, and ultimately selling, unusual ice cream flavor pairings on a grand scale.
Romeu started experimenting in a small, intimate space with an ice cream maker from BrandsMart, saying that the concept for Sweet Melody started with more "crappy batches" than not.
"It was really all about experimentation," he says. "And now here we are. A couple of restaurants are carrying my products and I've partnered with YVE."
All of Romeu's flavors are free of GMO sweeteners and hormones and use high quality, local ingredients when possible. He's involved with each batch from start to finish, crafting everything from the cream to its infusions by hand, keeping in line with Sweet Melody's artisanal practices.
As of now, Coral Gables' Caffe Vialetto as well as neighboring Trust & Co. showcase rotating flavors from Sweet Melody. In honor of National Ice Cream Month in July, Romeu developed limited-edition flavors for YVE and its signature restaurant, Biscayne Tavern, too.
"The restaurants carrying it and the partnership with the hotel [are] invaluable exposure," he says. "I'm really relying on a product I believe in." Sweet Melody is also in the process of launching a partnership with Misha's Cupcakes, though details have not been released.
On the second Thursday of each month, Bouquet of YVE, a roasted strawberry ice cream infused with cabernet; and Lavender Delight, a lavender-infused peach ice cream with amaretto, will be available at YVE. One scoop will be priced at $3 and two scoops at $5.
In addition to YVE's exclusive flavors, YVE will offer Sweet Melody favorites including Let It Brie, a
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"I always have said I'm not a baker," he laughs. "I'm an ice cream maker."
"One day I just hope this gets large enough that I can have a storefront with my daughter's name on it," he adds. "I want to be able to give this to her."
Sweet Melody's YVE pop-up launches on July 4 from 3 to 7 p.m. Pop-ups will continue throughout the summer on the second Thursday of each month from 3 to 7 p.m.