You Simply Must Check Out This New, Super-Creative Ice Cream Shop in Gilbert

3 weeks ago 13


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The thought to unfastened Cream of the Crop grew retired of a relationship — and a gift.

The friends are James Johnston and Matt Celaya, the proprietor and wide manager, respectively, of Fire & Brimstone pizza successful Gilbert. The acquisition was a KitchenAid crystal pick shaper Johnston gave Celaya implicit a decennary ago.

“I ever played astir with flavors," says Celaya, "and implicit clip we got a spot much superior astir possibly opening an crystal pick shop."

Then they heard that a spot was opening up astatine Barnone, the craftsman assemblage successful Gilbert's Agritopia development. It sounded similar excessively bully of an accidental to walk up.

“We knew we didn’t privation to bash thing accepted oregon cooky cutter, which is cleanable for a conception abstraction similar Barnone,” says Johnston. “Plus, we didn’t consciousness similar determination was that overmuch bully oregon originative crystal pick around, particularly for Arizona.”

Barnone is location to 11 Arizona makers who make everything from wood creation to wood-fired pizza. On the nutrient side, the hep hub boasts a small-batch brewery, an experimental winemaker, and a health-minded vegan eatery, but, until earlier this year, nary dessert go-to. Cream of that Crop present fills that saccharine spot.

The store itself is simply a playful premix of retro-meets-cartoon, with confetti-speckled countertops connected breeze blocks, turquoise metallic stools, a woody support lined with Japanese toys, and a flock of origami cranes hanging above.

“James has a inheritance successful design, truthful helium recovered a batch of the materials and came up with wide layout and plan of the space,” says Celaya.

The brace besides loves creation and wanted it displayed successful tiny ways, from the coating that looks similar smeared crystal pick to the playful “Cream of the Crop” neon sign. It’s eye-candy galore, down to the flavors.

“Matt is astonishing astatine creating flavors based connected a conception that doesn’t really person thing to bash with food, specified arsenic the Van Gogh flavors we had this past spring,” says Johnston. “I deliberation my favourite spirit was his mentation of the coating Starry Night that was people colored with spirulina.”

Rotating flavors are inspired by art, deconstructed puerility favorites similar Captain Crunch, oregon what’s successful play astatine Agritopia, including a memorable caller instauration made with medjool dates, orangish blossom, and smoked hay crystal cream. “It represented everything grown connected the workplace astatine 1 constituent successful time," Celaya says.

Van Gogh-inspired crystal  pick  astatine  Cream of the Crop.EXPAND

Van Gogh-inspired crystal pick astatine Cream of the Crop.

Cream of the Crop

You’ll ne'er find plain aged vanilla, cookies and cream, oregon rocky road. But you volition find 4 modular flavors that ne'er change: Cream of the Crop (sweet cream, vanilla legume with a hint of lime), mint cocoa spot (using mint from Agritopia farms), java (featuring java from Mythical Coffee successful Gilbert), and vegan acheronian cocoa (with cocoa nibs and oversea salt).

The at-home crystal pick shaper has been upgraded to a top-of-the-line Stoelting machine, and astir of the crystal pick has a 16 percent butterfat contented (by comparison, what you find successful the market store is usually 10 to 12 percent). The result: an impossibly creamy consistency and the cleanable conveyance for flavors.

“We wanted to make immoderate truly absorbing flavors and enactment different businesses successful the country by featuring their products successful the crystal pick arsenic well,” says Johnston. “I emotion that you tin ever instrumentality with the standards, but determination volition ever beryllium thing caller to effort adjacent if you travel successful reasonably often with truthful galore revolving flavors."

The crystal pick is amusive and flavor-forward, but it’s not the lone happening that sets Cream of the Crop apart. Johnston and Celaya person besides created caller ways to devour the crystal pick — caller types of crystal pick treats:

The Brick astatine  Cream of the Crop is simply a monster mouthful.EXPAND

The Brick astatine Cream of the Crop is simply a monster mouthful.

Allison Young

The Brick: It looks unassuming capable astatine first: an Oreo cookie-coated artifact successful a bag. But this is simply a monstrous mouthful. Mint crystal pick quadrate is frozen into quadrate molds, but alternatively of being stuffed betwixt 2 cookies, it’s covered successful cocoa and cooky crumble for an crystal pick sandwich connected crack. “We don’t person an oven oregon immoderate mode to cook anything,” says Celaya. “The Brick was simply our mode of trying to marque an crystal pick sandwich we could alteration retired frequently.”

The Brûlée: Don’t beryllium amazed if the idiosyncratic down the antagonistic is equipped with an crystal pick scoop and a stroke torch. Order “Brûlée” style, and your Cream of the Crop is topped with sweetener that's past torched for a crispy, bubbly finish. “It creates a large burnt sweetener crust portion keeping the crystal pick frozen,” says Johnston. Bonus: The bananas successful the banana split, a homemade fudge, Spanish peanut caramel-topped triumph, are besides brûléed for other flavor.

The Fried: It's amended than the benignant of deep-fried crystal pick you tin get astatine carnivals. “The scoops are rolled successful a substance of cornflake, cinnamon, and sugar, past coated successful blistery chromatic and topped with whipped cream, “ says Johnston. “It’s my favourite of the peculiar items.”

Matt Celaya and his woman  Aubrey and James Johnston with his woman  Nadya, co-owners of Cream of the Crop.EXPAND

Matt Celaya and his woman Aubrey and James Johnston with his woman Nadya, co-owners of Cream of the Crop.

Cream of the Crop

Cream of the Crop (inside Barnone)
3000 East Ray Road Building 6, Gilbert
Monday to Thursday 11 p.m to 9 p.m,
Friday and Saturday 11 p.m to 9:30 p.m.
Closed Sunday.


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Allison Young has written astir food, nutrition, and question for Sunset, Women’s Health, Oxygen, Clean Eating, Mindbodygreen, and Prevention. Her section jam is nutrient writing, wherever she happily eats her mode crossed the Valley to observe the champion hidden gems, hole-in-the-walls, pizza joints, and the latest Phoenix nutrient trends. She besides loves to prime Valley chef’s brains for their favourite nutrient finds. On her website,, she posts 1 happening she’s looking guardant to each day, from nutrient to books and podcasts.

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