Savor the Caribbean, one scoop at a time!
A recently opened Prospect Lefferts Gardens creamery is churning out colorful homemade blends fused with popular Caribbean flavors that offer sweet-toothed patrons a taste of its owners’ heritage.
“Our flavors reference childhood memories, which influence our creamery a lot,” said Omar Thorpe, who owns the shop with his wife, Astrid. “We put a twist on standard ice cream by using the flavors of the Carribean.”
Thorpe and his wife — who are of Panamanian and Haitian descent respectively — tapped their passion for making ice cream as a way to reinvent a struggling coffee shop business, according to the proprietor. They began serving the island-inspired delights this July when Creme and Cocoa Creamery opened at 1067 Nostrand Ave. between Lincoln Road and Lefferts Avenue, the site of their former café.
“We’ve always had a passion for making ice cream,” Thorpe said. “And instead of selling other brands we thought of starting our own. That’s where the idea came from.”
The duo and their staff produce small batches of ice cream each week that include rum raisin, a traditional Caribbean variety they make using rums from several countries in the region in order to satisfy true aficionados, the owner said. Other unique confections include a tangy sorbet created using the herb sorrel and fruity flavors such as papaya, soursop, grapenut, passion fruit, and mango.
And the proprietors continue to introduce new varieties in addition to their staple scoops, Thorpe said.
“One of our new inventions is a bacon-bourbon ice cream, and another is our dark-chocolate stout,” he said. “We’re trying to create new flavors beyond the classic Caribbean ones.”
Many of the creamery’s customers are former coffee-shop patrons, but Thorpe credits a surge in new business to the area’s substantial online foodie community. The owner also caters to the hip nabe’s artsy crowd by hosting monthly in-store exhibitions that feature locals’ work, he said.
And Thorpe hopes his sweet treats will continue to bring members of his diverse community together even in the face of its current gentrification.
“We’re a product of the community. We grew up here, and now we’re creating an economic system that employs people in a neighborhood that’s rapidly changing,” he said.