You scream, I scream, we all scream — for peanut butter and chocolate-covered bacon ice cream? And brown-sugar ham or cornflake and bourbon ice cream?
Scott Moloney, who calls himself “a mad scientist of ice cream,” has been scooping a lot of unexpected flavors since he opened Treat Dreams last August in a Ferndale storefront that’s done up appropriately in bright ice-cream colors.
“If you saw the flavor board when I opened, and compared it to today, you’d see the evolution.” Moloney admits starting somewhat timidly, making mostly traditional flavors in the micro-creamery and bake house at the rear of his Woodward Avenue shop, but not for long. He soon began experimenting.
When he concocted a flavor he calls Sunday Breakfast, named for its waffles-and-bacon combination, he says it “put us on the map.”
“The reaction I got was much more than I anticipated. From there, I said, ‘Now let’s see what I can do.’ ”
The always-evolving flavor board now lists such treats as honey lavender, Mexican chocolate cinnamon chipotle, and salted caramel, which is a labor-intensive flavor because the caramel is housemade. It’s also one of the most popular, along with Kookie Monster (blue vanilla with chocolate-chip cookie dough and chopped Oreos). A new flavor debuts every Sunday, and people show up at noon, when the store opens, to try it.
Moloney’s road to the ice-cream business was anything but direct. His career was in finance for a number of years, with stints at Penske Corp. and Comerica Bank, before he resigned from the bank in 2009 to try something completely different. “The crazy part is, I loved banking,” he says, but the entrepreneurial urge took over.
The only prior experience with ice cream was taking his son, Matthew, and daughter, Payton, now 13 and 11 respectively, out for treats at Dairy Deluxe in Birmingham. No matter what time of day they went, it was always busy, and, he says, “the business model intrigued me.”
He began seriously researching the ice-cream business and attended a couple of national conferences. At one, he met a shop owner who invited him to come to his ice-cream store in Dayton, Ohio, to see if the lifestyle appealed to him. It did.And so Treat Dreams was born — on lucky Friday the 13th — in August 2010.
In addition to selling ice cream, cake pops (chocolate-covered cake on sticks), and ice-cream cakes, all made in-house, the shop caters private parties and is ready to make custom flavors for customers who want to come up with their own combinations.
Moloney, a 43-year-old Birmingham resident, also shows up at the farmers markets in Birmingham, Dearborn, and Lake Orion with his frozen confections in giant coolers. He calls his niche “weird ice cream.”
Judging by the response, it’s apparently not that weird.
22965 Woodward, Ferndale; 248-544-3440
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thur., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., noon-9 p.m. Sun.
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