Sweet Melody, the beloved ice cream shop and ventanita in Kendall, is expanding with a second location in Palmetto Bay set to open at the end of August.
The second location won’t have a walk-up ventanita, but it will bring a bevy of baked goods and a prominent executive pastry chef. Stephanie Diaz, cofounder and owner of the now-defunct Sweetness Bakeshop, will oversee the shop's bakery division.
“We are absolutely thrilled to add someone of such high caliber to Sweet Melody. When you have the opportunity to add someone so talented to your team, it’s foolish not to. Her creativity, talent, and work ethic is going to add fresh dimensions to our brand and I can’t wait to get started,” Sweet Melody owner Mike Romeu says of Diaz.
For a decade, Diaz could be found in the kitchen of Sweetness Bakeshop. The family-owned treat emporium opened in 2010 during the mini-cupcake craze and garnered a cultlike following with memorable items like the G.O.A.T. cookie — a chocolate chip cookie with a truffle-like brownie inside. Sweetness quietly shut its doors in October of 2019, and Diaz had no immediate plans to return to baking — until she realized how much she missed being in the kitchen.
“Sweetness was such an important part of my life. But after ten years, I was ready to slow down a little bit and take a breather. It’s been a few months and I’m already itching to be back in the kitchen,” she says. “I’m looking forward to creating something new and have been experimenting with a ton of recipes that I think people will really like. Many pair with Mike’s ice creams bringing twists on classic desserts, while others are meant to stand on their own.”
All of Sweet Melody's ice cream mix-ins are handmade. With Diaz running the bakery, this can continue on a larger scale, while creating a bigger selection of baked goods to go along with the ever-evolving ice cream menu.
Items new to the menu will include specialty ice cream sundaes as well as ice cream cakes and pies — with various new baked mix-in options. Those sundaes will take forms like a platano maduro split made with fried sweet plantains, three scoops of ice cream, espresso chocolate fudge, dulce de leche, and guava rum sauce and topped with fresh chantilly and almond brittle; or fried ice cream with caramelized cereal, vanilla ice cream, and local honey.
Traditional pies will also undergo an ice cream facelift. Options such as key lime pie with a graham coconut crust, key lime ice cream, and house-made whipped cream will rotate in, as will a lemon meringue pie with a shortbread crust, lemon ice cream, and torch meringue, and a PB&J pie with Ritz cracker crust, peanut butter ice cream, and strawberry jelly. Pies will be available by the slice for dine-in and by the whole pie via preorder.
There will be a lengthy menu of cookies (double chocolate chips with sea salt) and bars (brown-butter caramelized white chocolate blondies) that can be purchased individually and enjoyed in-store.
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The Palmetto Bay location will have eight-foot-tall windows, enabling customers to watch the baking process as well as the dairy plant operation. “We’re really proud of the product we’re putting out and how much work goes into creating everything from scratch. These windows will give customers the chance to watch the magic happen. Sweet Melody’s Palmetto Bay location will offer an experience that we think everyone will enjoy,” Romeu says.
Bakery items will only be available at the new Palmetto Bay location, but visitors to the original Sweet Melody can look forward to the addition of treats made by Pastelito Papi.
Sweet Melody Palmetto Bay is slated to open August 31.
Sweet Melody Palmetto Bay. 17379 S. Dixie Hwy., Palmetto Bay; instagram.com/sweetmelodyicecream. Noon to 10 p.m. daily. Opening August 31.