It's been a year since a purple graffiti-painted food truck, stocked with sweet goodies such as ice-cream sandwiches and edible cookie dough, rolled into Miami. This Sunday, July 16, local dessert business Wynwood Parlor will open its first brick-and-mortar on Miami's Upper Eastside at 860 NE 79th St., next to Half Moon Empanadas and down the street from the Anderson.
Founded by former Adrienne Arsht Center food and beverage director Laurence McMillon, Wynwood Parlor Sweet Shoppe will be an extension of McMillion's original concept, where customers will find more than just the brand's signature ice-cream sandwiches.
Though the shop is small, limited to a grab-and-go retail window with outdoor seating, it will offer a variety of desserts created by McMillion's staff, as well as through partnerships with local bakers.
"A lot of the things we wanted to do on the truck had to be modified because of the heat," McMillon says. "So this window will allow us to offer other pastries and bakery items, like cheesecakes, pies, and made-to-order milkshakes."
The Upper Eastside location, which will be open daily from 3 to 11 p.m., is the first of many, according to McMillion. He envisions opening multiple small spaces in neighborhoods across Miami-Dade, with Kendall and South Miami on the list of possible locations for outposts.
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"It's basically like reinventing a cafecito window," he says. "There's not really a need to be a full sit-down restaurant."
In addition to serving customers at the dessert window, Wynwood Parlor delivers via UberEats, GrubHub, and Postmates and recently created its own delivery club ($30 per month) in which subscribers receive a six-pack of ice-cream sandwiches delivered to their door regardless of where they live.
"People want to sit at home and order food," he says. "And there's definitely a niche with desserts. Plus, a lot of people don't want to drive to Wynwood. This allows us to expand our reach throughout Miami-Dade and north to places in Broward and Palm Beach.
After Wynwood Parlor's debut in May 2016, the concept quickly became popular for its novelty in a city whose dessert scene is still relatively small. Most days, the mural-covered shop on wheels travels throughout Wynwood and downtown, brimming with homemade cookies, brownies, and waffles with a variety of ice-cream flavors and toppings. Beyond the truck, McMillon formed partnerships with popular establishments such as the Broken Shaker, Pizza Bar, the Anderson, and Vicky's House, which now carry Wynwood Parlor's desserts.