For the past two years, Azucar Ice Cream Company's Suzy Batlle has been trying to secure some warehouse space for her ice cream. She’s battled utilities, the city, and a few months will finally get the 2,700-square-foot space open.
However it won’t be a storefront, like her Calle Ocho shop adorned by a towering ice cream. Instead, it’s a commercial operation she needs to meet growing demand from customers like the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, Richard Hales’ Blackbrick, and Sergio’s restaurants.
“I serve about 1,000 people a day out of that tiny kitchen on Calle Ocho," she says. “I think we can double.”
Batlle is one of a number of local artisans whose wares have taken them from small batch artisans into fledgling businesses. Zak Stern recently crossed the 1,000-loaves-a-day mark as his breads were picked up by Whole Foods. Freddy and Danielle Kaufman’s sausages are featured on menus across town along with Miami Smokers’ bacon. Steve Santana’s Taquiza has been hired to press The Edition’s tortillas.
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With the store’s fourth anniversary coming up, Batlle continues turning out one-of-a-kind flavors like the Elvis, with peanut butter and banana. There's also the Willy Chirino, with bourbon ice cream, and black and maraschino cherries, along with a sweet corn ice cream laced with cinnamon.
Two years ago she told us the plan was to have three shops strewn across Miami. Now, she says the plan is to find dairy farms in north Florida or Georgia to cart the milk to Miami, where it will be pasteurized before it’s sweetened and frozen.
“When it’s not fun I’ll scale it back,” she says. “This is also about a lifestyle, it’s about eating things that are good for you, not what you see at the grocery store.”