Churning Up An Ice Cream Subscription Service
Q&A with Maya Peredo
Founder of Dulcerina ice cream SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE in South FLorida
Tell us about your business.
I had an ice cream subscription business in Florida, focused on sustainability, from the ingredients I got from local farms to the packaging. The ice cream was hand-packed in glass jars, each ingredient was thoughtfully added to create the unique flavors, and the pints were delivered to the customers’ door. My ice cream didn’t have any weird additives or artificial sweeteners—just organic dairy and fresh produce. It was made simply, but thought out extensively—good ingredients make good ice cream.
How did you get into the ice cream business?
I had always wanted an ice cream machine, and mom got me a Cuisinart as my college graduation gift. I started making ice cream for all my friends and family and they told me I should sell it. The first ice cream I ever made was out of a Ben & Jerry’s cookbook, but it was Jeni’s first ice cream cookbook that really inspired me to delve into the art of ice cream. I realized that ice cream was like a blank canvas and I could create so many magical flavors. I decided after much research and reading that my favorite ice cream to make was a custard ice cream, the way it is done in France. I was a fan of David Lebovitz and would often read his blog to learn about the French method of making ice cream. It wasn’t easy at first because making a perfect custard requires a lot of patience and practice. I eventually started making ice cream more intuitively and crafted my own flavors and recipes, too.
Why did you decide to do a subscription service?
Since I didn’t have a storefront, I wanted to provide a personal experience by delivering ice cream to my customers’ homes. It gave me the opportunity to see their reaction when they received their long-awaited pints. I also wanted to elevate the experience of eating ice cream at home.
Why did you come to New York for culinary school?
I had heard of the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) and was interested in attending, but moving to New York seemed out of reach and the program at ICE was not in my price range. I had already gone to university and received a BA in hospitality, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to school again and spend the money. However, one day I saw that ICE was promoting a scholarship called #MyCulinaryVoice. You had to submit a one-minute video explaining your career goals and why you were interested in attending and share it on social media. I was overwhelmed by the support of my friends and family. Because of them, my video became one of the top three. A panel of judges reviewed the videos and selected their favorite. I remember when I found out I was selected for the scholarship. I couldn’t believe that my dream of attending this school and coming to New York was now a reality.
I had to put my ice cream business on hold. All of my subscribers fully supported my move because they knew it was to benefit my company. I told them I would come back to Florida with a lot more knowledge and experience. I still have people tell me how much they miss my ice cream and look forward to me coming back one day.
What is your earliest ice cream memory?
The ice cream trucks that used to drive around my suburban neighborhood. I remember playing in my house with my grandfather and running outside to flag the truck down when we heard the music. I’d always get a Choco Taco.
What was your most popular flavor?
Roasted Strawberry. In Florida, we have a great strawberry season and I’d go handpick all the berries I could carry and slow roast them in the oven.
What is your favorite flavor?
If I could only pick one, it would be strawberry ice cream, especially when it has jammy strawberries swirled in.
What is the most unique flavor you’ve offered?
Butterscotch Pumpkin. I wanted to recreate a pie I had once at Thanksgiving— it had caramel in the pumpkin filling. It tasted like fall in one bite, and, as a native Floridian who never got to see the seasons change, it was amazing.
What inspires you and why?
I love taking advantage of what’s in season—taking fruit at its peak and elevating it. After growing up eating freshly picked mangos, berries, and peaches, I couldn’t look back. I’m also very motivated by recreating my favorite childhood ice cream memories. When I was younger and would visit my grandmother in Bolivia, she would always take me to a cafe nearby for a Vienessa, which was vanilla ice cream with poured coffee over it and topped with wafer cookie bits—it’s so good.
Cup or cone?
I’m gluten-free, so when I can eat the cone I will definitely choose it!
Topping of choice?
Classic rainbow sprinkles.
Any advice for making ice cream at home?
Age your ice cream! It makes a huge difference when you let your base sit overnight in the fridge—it allows it to develop a much better flavor right before you freeze it.
What is your ultimate ice cream goal?
To have people nationwide enjoy my ice cream. I want people to say they grew up eating my ice cream. That’s the dream.
You might like...
*25% off when you shop at Bob's Red Mill. Use the code CHERRY25.
*For a Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Eggs coupon, cluck here: vitalfarms.com/cherrybombe.
*20% off Ancestry. Visit ancestry.com/cherry.