Move over dairy-milk desserts. Ice Dream Parlor is bringing plant-based sweet treats to Miami residents starting July 7.
The newest addition to VShops, Coconut Grove's all-vegan food hall, Ice Dream will offer sundaes, banana splits, floats, milkshakes, malts, and an assortment of ice creams including at least one locally made flavor sweetened with monk fruit.
VShops current lineup includes a smoothie bar (Neo's Blender), a pizza place (Next Generation Pizza), and Choices Vegan Café, with several additional spots to follow.
Why add ice cream to the mix? VShops president Lori Zito says that lots of customers requested it, and she had worked at an ice cream parlor for ten years while growing up.
"It was a fun time in my life because it was one of my first experiences serving food to others, and it really brought me a lot of joy," she says. "However once I learned what I now know about the dairy industry, I looked back at it differently. Yet it has always been a dream of mine to somehow revisit those vintage days of my youth and serve ice cream that not only brings joy to people but also is good for animals and our planet."
Thus far, the confectionery has two confirmed brands of ice cream that it will offer. One is the aforementioned monk fruit variety, and the other brand is all organic and comes in a variety of flavors, Zito says.
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"We're also excited to be using organic candies and chocolates from HunnyBon in many of our sundaes and shakes," Zito says. "The quality of HunnyBon's vegan, organic treats are spectacular."
Treats range from a simple scoop of ice cream ($3.95) to decadent sundaes like the Salted Caramel Fantasy ($9.50) made with coconut ice cream, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, caramel corn, peanuts, and whipped topping.
As for as how VShops is faring, Zito says the first-of-its-kind food hall has been getting great feedback. "Guests have really loved the pizza, and we think nothing compliments pizza better than ice cream," she says. "OK, well maybe nothing aside from beer — but we have that too."
Ice Dream Parlor. At the VShops Food Hall, 2895 McFarlane Rd., Miami; 305-414-0330; thevshops.com.