With summer approaching, many of us are thinking about the season’s favorite dessert — ice cream. From pops of honey spiced with cayenne pepper to delicious flecks of bean-to-bar handcrafted chocolate, Bold Spoon Creamery, founded by local entrepreneur Rachel Burns, will leave you indulging in an eruption of flavor that’s sure to be your new favorite.
Her idea for the ice cream business all started with a prolifically growing patch of mint in her backyard. Check out more of her story below!
DELUX: What’s the history behind Bold Spoon Creamery?
My ice cream making journey began in 2017 just for fun. We had a prolifically growing patch of mint in our backyard. I should have planted it in a pot, however, I did not and it took over. The less we paid attention to it the more it grew. My husband Corey made Mojitos for a while, but that didn’t put a dent in our mint stash.
For many years, we had a Cuisinart ice cream maker in our basement that went unused. Then in the summer of 2017, I had a plan for using our growing patch of mint. I dusted off the ice cream machine and looked up a recipe for mint ice cream. We had a small pool in our backyard, and we’d invite people over for a swim and we would all have ice cream. Eventually, it became a condition of accepting our invitations.
For over a year, I made only mint ice cream. Eventually I started experimenting with different flavors and after a period of time started developing my own recipes. In early 2019, I started thinking about ice cream so much that it was obvious it was more than a hobby. So I discussed my idea with my husband and he gave me his blessing. Looking back now, the information I gave him only covered a small sliver of the work it would actually take and of the information I gave him in my pitch, only 50% was correct. I wasn’t being deceptive, you just don’t know what you don’t know.
“There is no substitute for hustle and building relationships.” – Rachel Burns, Founder, Bold Spoon Creamery
We took delivery of our commercial ice cream machine on March 18, 2020, not great timing. Especially because our plan was to sell wholesale only to restaurants and at that time restaurants were facing a mountain of uncertainty, as we all were. So we paused for a moment and hit reset. In late April 2020, I decided I needed to get moving, I wasn’t sure what the future held, but I knew it would be easier to pivot if I was in motion. So I packed a cooler on wheels with ice cream and ice packs and started walking around my neighborhood and gave it away. Then it happened, our first on-line order occurred on May 2, 2020 from a neighbor! My family was so excited, the order was $40, but it seemed like it was a million. Online sales continued, then in late June of 2020 we started to sell our ice cream at Tower Grove Farmer’s Market. Then in July, we started to sell our ice cream at Schnucks (Ladue, Lindbergh, Webster Groves, Des Peres, Arsenal, Richmond Heights) and since then we have added Straub’s, Smokehouse Market, Annex and Woman’s Exchange.
DELUX: May you explain the importance of your ice cream socials and support from “The Spoons” in starting your business?
Before Bold Spoon became an official business, I had to test my recipes. So I turned to a group of friends. I would invite them over, make 5 or 6 different flavors (I never revealed the flavor) and we would sit around our dining room table and have tastings.They filled out surveys judging the texture, flavor balance, visual appeal and every other way you can dissect ice cream. From this feedback I made changes, then they would come back and we would do the same all over again with my new and improved recipes. These meetings had the dual purpose of research and development and lots of fun. They called themselves the “Spoons” and since we seek to make our flavors bold, Bold Spoon stuck as the name.
At this time our son was attending Haverford College in Philadelphia. The new dorm fridge he had included a tiny freezer. A few times I sent him ice cream, to get feedback from what became a new customer demographic — the college kid. He would invite friends to his dorm room to taste his ice cream shipment. We made Survey Monkey surveys for his friends to fill out. The first survey responses were very cut and dry in the beginning, then at the end there were leaving comments as if they were the senior editors of Food & Wine.
DELUX: What sparks your creativity when coming up with different flavors?
When I see food combinations I usually think, I wonder how that would be in ice cream. That is how our Goat Cheese & Fig flavor was born. My husband and I were having dinner and had a charcuterie board that happened to have goat cheese and figs next to each other and I loved the combination. Then I wondered, how would this taste as an ice cream. The answer is, it rocks!
DELUX: How have you partnered with local businesses when sourcing ingredients? What was the process?
We have the good fortune of being a vendor at Tower Grove Farmer’s Market which includes fantastic food purveyors and farmers with spectacular produce. So I have so many great options all around me every Saturday and Sunday. I am also so grateful for our relationship with our Milk and Cream provider, Rolling Lawns Farms, they are spectacular. We get our Goat Cheese used in our Goat Cheese & Fig flavor from Baejte Farm who I was introduced to through Andy Decou, who handles the Small Business Program which I am a part of at Schnucks.
DELUX: What advice would you give to other businesses who are working to get their products on the shelves of retailers?
There is no substitute for hustle and building relationships. I think you need to be confident that your product belongs there and just start talking to people to find the right people you need to connect with. You also need to be selective and make sure that the retailers you pursue are a good fit for your brand. They are not just evaluating your product, you need to evaluate them as well.
DELUX: Where can DELUX readers go to try Bold Spoon Creamery? Will you be offering your delivery services this month?
There are many places to get your hands on Bold Spoon Creamery. These are all listed on the where to find tab of our website.
As soon as we are offering online delivery again we will update our site. We took a little break as we are very busy with the final stages of getting our new kitchen up and running.
DELUX: What are you looking forward to this summer? Any upcoming events?
So much to look forward to. My husband and I moved to a small farm in Park Hills, MO in January. We chose this property because it had a perfect building on it that we could convert to a commercial kitchen. We expect the kitchen to be open at the end of the month. This is a huge step for us. We will be able to increase production significantly with our new kitchen. We are also going to plant huge gardens right outside of the kitchen so we can grow some of the fruits and herbs we use in our ice cream.
DELUX: How does the future look for Bold Spoon Creamery? Are you considering a physical location?
Regarding the above referenced kitchen, we may explore opening to the public with pop up openings of sort. We shall see…..
If you’d like to get more scoop on this growing business, visit their website at www.boldspooncreamery.com.
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