Sweet Melody, Miami's only ice cream ventanita, will open a Coral Gables shop in late July.
Sweet Melody owner Mike Romeu says it'll be a full scoop shop, offering 16 different flavors from a rotating list, along with classic milkshakes, sundaes, and pints to-go. There'll be communal seating for people who choose to consume their frosty treats in-house. "We're going to have classics like Cookie Monster and guava cream cheese, and, hopefully, some store-specific flavors," Romeu promises.
Romeu says he was looking for locations to expand Sweet Melody but Coral Gables came along by "happenstance" in the form of his friend Liza Lozano, owner of Sweet Servings Bar, who decided to close her ice cream shop in order to focus on her home life. "Over the course of a few months, we reached a deal for me to take over the space," he says.
Romeu, who shuttered his Palmetto Bay location in September,
says that the Coral Gables location will offer new opportunities for the ice cream brand he named after his 10-year-old daughter. "This location is central. It's literally at the crossroads of Coral Gables and Miami and we're close to restaurants like Versailles and Caja Caliente. There's a cool vibrancy here," he says. "I love my Kendall location — it's slaying — but here we feel like we're in the heart of Miami."
The new location gives Romeu the opportunity to serve nearby neighborhoods like Brickell, Coconut Grove, and Little Havana through delivery services. "It's a way to have a presence in Brickell and beyond," he notes.
The Coral Gables shop won't be the only new addition to the Sweet Melody family. Romeu says a third location is in the works, though it's too soon to share details. It's all part of his plan to make Sweet Melody into a brand with multiple locations.
But he says the ultimate goal is to teach his daughter that everything is possible with persistence.
With that, he puts the phone on speaker to let Melody join the conversation.
"What is it that I always tell you, Melody?"
"Don't give up," his daughter responds triumphantly.
"I repeat that to her," Romeu says. "That it's all about perseverance. Never let anyone beat you down. I've been through so much in my life. I've lost somebody I love, I've lost jobs. I want Melody to see that I've succeeded."
When asked about how much Melody has helped him on his ice cream journey, his daughter is quick to answer. "A lot, because he loves me a lot and I inspire him."
The obvious question must then be asked of a 10-year-old whose father owns an ice cream company.
How do you feel about having unlimited access to all the ice cream you want?
"I don't personally like our ice cream the best," Melody replies, leaving her dad to explain that she likes flavors that are simpler than his whimsical creations.
"But she's very popular at school," the elder Romeu adds.
Sweet Melody. 3814 SW Eighth St., Coral Gables; instagram.com/sweetmelodyicecream. Opens in late July 2022.