Scott Moloney has taken ice cream about as far from vanilla as it will go since opening his Treat Dreams in Ferndale in 2010 (although he does offer a vanilla bean version).
With its constantly evolving flavor board and old-fashioned waffle cones (Oh! The aroma as they are made fresh each morning!), it was an instant
hit with such unexpected concoctions as honey lavender, waffles and bacon, and Mexican chocolate cinnamon chipotle.
Now the former banker turned ice cream man has added an outpost on Cass Avenue at Willis Street, just a couple of doors from the tapas restaurant La Feria and around the corner from the Avalon bakery in a thriving part of Midtown.
“I heard about the closing of Melt,” says Moloney of the building’s previous tenant, a shop that specialized in gelato. “But I was already involved in opening a barbecue (restaurant) in Clawson (Woodpile is scheduled to open this month), and ice cream season was just getting going. So I did not pursue it.”
That changed in mid-March when Sue Mosey, executive director of Midtown Detroit Inc., called and said she was showing the space to 17 people, but that she wanted to retain ice cream.
“I attended a walk-through and loved the location,” Moloney says.
So despite the bad timing — that included plans for a cruise vacation — he jumped in. “You don’t get these opportunities that often. It was too good a deal to pass up.”
He signed the lease on March 24 and Treat Dreams No. 2 opened on May 1.
Like the original in Ferndale, it offers a dozen or more flavors at a time, with salted caramel, Kooky Monster (tinted blue and featuring Oreos and cookie dough), vanilla bean, and dark chocolate chip always available.
Flavors are rotated every Sunday and posted on their Facebook page. Moloney estimates that Treat Dreams has offered about 900 flavors over the years. “A conservative number,” he says. “I stopped writing them down at 700.”
Not all were successes. “Some will never come back,” he admits. “Not fit for human consumption. … The worst one was salt and vinegar, and pizza didn’t work either. I can’t figure that one out.”
Another thing Moloney can’t figure out? Just why does salted caramel do better in Midtown than it does in Ferndale?
In addition to ice cream, both locations feature Chazzano Coffee and Chez Chloe’s cakes. There are also super-rich ice cream versions and a vegan version, made with rice milk — it has the consistency of a fudgsicle — as well as sorbets.
4160 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-818-0084. 22965 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-3440. treatdreams.com