Memories. We all have them. Some of us create photo albums or scrapbooks full of previous experiences that we want to hang onto. Then came along Tara VanWagoner. Tara creates craft ice cream flavors from previous memories and experiences.
Tara grew up just outside of Grand Rapids in Belding, MI. Her love for ice cream started in the kitchen with her mom. Tara found a passion for creating ice cream and even enjoyed all the toughness that comes along with perfecting the perfect ice cream consistency. “I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but was able to learn and eat a lot of ice cream!” Tara says about her journey of becoming an ice cream expert. It made sense that when she moved into her Grand Rapids apartment two years ago, an idea was born.
Her dream to create craft ice cream that was based on her previous travel experiences and her fondest memories of friends and family was about to come true.
Tara successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign a few months ago where she reached her start-up goal of $10,000. With this money, she was able to buy a batch freezer and is currently using the commercial kitchen at Celebration Cinema. Around mid-July, Cone Appétit will officially be distributing to 8 local wholesale accounts.
The name Cone Appétit comes from her love of French culture and the time she has spent traveling there. Tara also draws a lot of her inspiration from the culture and beauty of Switzerland.
As if Tara’s craft ice cream venture wasn’t already incredible, it gets even better. A portion of all proceeds from Cone Appétit will go to Exodus Cry. An organization that is dedicated to putting an end to human trafficking.
Many local products will be featured in Cone Appétit’s ice cream. Be on the lookout for Rowsters Coffee, Ferris Coffee & Nut, brownies from Nantucket Baking Company, and Country Dairy to name just a few. There are currently 15 staple flavors, but Tara is continuously creating new flavors. She even hopes to create a delicious vegan ice cream.
One of Tara’s favorite flavors and most popular is Kona Mud Pie, which consists of a Rowsters coffee ice cream base, chocolate ganache, and Oreos. This flavor was created after Tara had lived in Kona, Hawaii and loved eating giant pieces of Kona Mud Pie with friends.
Ready for another fun name? Almond Bout That Base is an almond ice cream base with delicious pieces of Nantucket Baking Company brownies.
Down the road, Cone Appétit would like to become its own brick and mortar. Tara has her eye on either the Wealthy Street area or the continuously growing West Side. Tara’s dream is to have lots of seating and a cozy neighborhood feel to watch her customers enjoy her ice cream and hopefully…create their own memories.
Jenny Fillenworth is a Food Blogger for GRNow.com and a Registered Dietitian that has a passion for local eats and sustainable food practices. You can email her feedback or insider story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org