Ice cream man
Jeremy DeMarzo even looks like an ice cream guy. Maybe it's the handlebar mustache, but he's got an aura infused with a kind of straightforward appreciation of simpler pleasures—bicycles, ice cream, sandwiches. His taste in ice cream is a little more eclectic than that, combining flavors like lavender and rock salt and Earl Gray tea and Sriracha (not necessarily together, but not necessarily not together, either). He has a bicycle-powered ice cream shop with an umbrella and music that you see at events around town. His shop, IceCycle Creamery, 6147 Lakeside Drive, which he opened with his wife, Leilani, is also a deli that has a penchant for combining unexpected flavors. More information can be found at www.icecyclecreamery.com, but the best way to experience this place is to drop by for Ice Cream For Lunch Day, which is something we just made up.
What made you open an ice cream store?
I have been making ice cream of unique flavors for about four years, kind of as a hobby. We thought Reno really needed it, so we decided to start with the bike and start small last summer, and just see how the response was, and if people were into the stuff we were making. And it was a great response, so we decided to move forward and move forward and open up the shop.
I’ve only been in there once, but I was quite intrigued. How do you come up with those unusual combinations?
I don't know … different things I eat sometimes. I just get inspiration in all kinds of different places—breakfast foods, sandwiches, cocktails. Some stuff just comes to me, and I'll think the flavor will work well, and I'll just make it.
How much experimentation does it take to get it right? I picture you making really small batches to get the flavors right, and then going to a big one, or do you just dive in?
I kind of dive in. I followed my recipes for how to make ice cream for a couple of years before we started doing this, and everything just clicked. Some stuff, I know exactly what the flavor is going to do. Some stuff I need to taste and add more, like a curry powder or a chili, you kind of need to go by taste.
So how many flavors do you serve at a single time and how big is your repertoire?
We consistently have 16 flavors in our case. We carry four of the flavors all the time: plain chocolate, vanilla bean, cookie roulette, and our signature unique flavor, Home Means Nevada, which is sage and pine nuts. Everything else sloughs out depending on what I have, what goes, and then I'll replace it with something else. I probably have close to a hundred flavors I've done now. … I know we were at like 50 at the end of last summer, and we've added probably another 30, so we're around 80 flavors now.
What did you do when you weren’t making ice cream?
I'm a videographer and a photographer, a graphic designer. I've run TV stations, I've had national ad campaigns.