With summer just around the corner there’s no better way to cool off than with a scoop of creamy and delicious ice cold ice cream. If you’re on the hunt for a new brand to try, Wynwood Parlor, a Miami-based shop is not only Black-owned, but features handcrafted ice cream sandwiches made from small-batch cookies, artisan ice cream and roll-on toppings.
Developed by Larry McMillion and his two young sons, the company started as Miami’s first artisanal ice cream truck hand-painted by a local artist in 2016 and quickly expanded to include a brick-and-mortar bar and ice cream lounge at Bay Parc residences in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood, nationwide shipping via Goldbelly, full-scale ice cream catering, and wholesale delivery to Miami’s top restaurants and hotels, with future expansion planned for 2021 and beyond.
Though several studies have found that Black businesses were hit hardest by the global pandemic, with a 41% drop in working business owners, the shop has managed to still thrive as one of the most on-demand locations for those looking for a scoop — just in time for the country reopening.
Featuring 20+ flavors including vegan offerings and unique combinations, Wynwood Parlor’s signature flavors include the Bedrock (red velvet cookies, vanilla ice cream, rolled in Fruity Pebbles), Mister 305 (white chocolate chip, guava cake cookies with vanilla ice cream), Cookie Monster (double chocolate cookies, cookies & cream ice cream, rolled in chocolate chips), and Secret Vegan (vegan chocolate chip cookies, vegan vanilla ice cream, rolled in sliced almonds), it’s no surprise why people can’t get enough.
For ESSENCE, McMillion shares his advice for other up-and-coming Black food entrepreneurs, the challenges of transitioning from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar location and how you can get your hands on their ice cream even if you don’t live in Miami.
What inspired you to start an ice cream business?
I started Wynwood Parlor in 2016 with my oldest son Kelton as a passion project and opportunity to spend quality time together. I’ve always worked on the corporate side of food and beverage, so Wynwood Parlor was a creative outlet for both of us while teaching my son the fundamentals of being an entrepreneur. When my youngest son Caleb got a bit older, we brought him in to help us. I’m proud to say that Wynwood Parlor is our family business.