If you know me, you know I love sugar. It’s a problem.
So when I first saw Matt’s social media post about beginning to sell small batches of craft ice cream in Dripping Springs I was all over it. I placed my first order for Snickerdoodle and Coffee Dark Chocolate that morning and took it over to girls night in Belterra.
I was excited to meet the scientist and entrepreneur behind Flight Ice Creams and couldn’t wait to introduce you, too!
Matt, tell us more about your family…
I’m married to my amazing and supportive wife, Hayley. We have two crazy boys, Max and Turner, who are 10 and 6.
The whole family has been involved in creating this business.
How did you come up with the idea to create an ice cream business?
Over the COVID-19 pandemic, our son Max asked if we could learn how to make ice cream since he LOVES ice cream. While everyone else was making sourdough bread, we figured out how to make delicious ice cream.
Our neighbors and friends loved our ice cream we started exploring the business opportunity since Dripping Springs did not have an ice cream shop. We settled on the business model of renting kitchen space and selling via pop-ups around town.
How did having a PhD help you in creating your incredible ice cream?
Even though my PhD is in microbiology, the scientific method and interactive process of experimentation were extremely useful in developing our base ice cream recipe. Attention to detail, along with making observations and taking notes, have enabled us to reproducibly make incredible small batches of ice cream.
What is the best ice cream you’ve ever had and where did you try it?
To be honest, I think our ice cream is the best I’ve ever had and others have told us that as well.
But, if you want me to say something else, I would probably have to go with the Dutch Cookie flavor at Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie Bar in Healdsburg, CA.
Do you take requests on new flavors?
We listen to our customers as much as possible and have taken inspiration from their ideas. A couple examples of this are our Bourbon Caramel Brownie flavor and Horchata + Twix. Both are delicious and immensely popular.
What is your favorite flavor?
This is the hardest question people ask me! I feel like it’s asking someone which of your children is your favorite. But if I had to choose one, it would be Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough because it merges one of my favorite standard ice creams, cookie dough, with one of my favorite cookies. It’s an original flavor that we made for a friends birthday and I’m proud of how delicious and popular it has become.
Other favorites are Butterbeer (made with homemade butterscotch sauce), anything with OREO or Reese’s, and our beer flavor collaborations with local breweries.
Do you plan to open a food truck or local brick and mortar shop?
We would love to eventually open up a brick and mortar shop but it’s really hard to make the numbers work with the high cost of rent. If anyone has any ideas or opportunities, please let us know! The most likely next step is probably a trailer or truck.
Do you partner with other local small businesses?
We partner with other local small businesses whenever possible and our customers love it! For example, we use Dripping Springs Chocolate Company’s amazing 65% dark chocolate in a number of our flavors.
Also, we are privileged to be able to use locally roasted coffee from Weathered Hands Farmhouse Coffee for our coffee ice creams. We’ve also recently worked with Rolling in Thyme & Dough to make a phenomenal flavor using the excess topping from their famous Pecan Sticky Buns and pieces of actual rolls mixed throughout.
Another fun thing we do is work with breweries to flavor our ice cream with their delicious beers! It’s so much fun to partner with the brewers and owners to come up with unique collaborations that show off their wonderful brews. We’ve already done this with Ghost Note, Acopon, Fitzhugh, Suds Monkey and Vista.
What do you love about starting a business in Dripping Springs?
The first thing that comes to mind is how supportive the community has been. It has been amazing to see how many folks have come to our pop-up events across town since June.
Also, I really appreciate how supportive a number of other local businesses have been. I like working with small businesses that are also interested in growing the overall ecosystem and economy here in Dripping Springs, not just competing with each other or other established businesses.
We also love giving back to the community as we can and look forward to increase our giving in strategic ways.
How did you come up with the name, Flight Ice Creams?
Our two boys LOVE airplanes and flying. Also, working with breweries we have had conversations about doing flights of beer ice creams or any of our ice cream flavors. A lot of our customers will choose three or four flavors to try at a time and we call that a flight!
There are also a lot of flight and aviation themes we can use in our branding and marketing that we have enjoyed. I think the name and brand have been resonating with the community and I’ve seen our hats around town with our logo.
Practically speaking, I wanted something early in the alphabet, one syllable, easy to say and spell, available URL, social media handles, etc.
What are your other favorite sweet treat spots in the area to visit?
Where can locals buy your ice cream?
Anyone can purchase our ice cream at any of our pop-ups. If they would like to purchase a larger amount of ice cream for an event or party, I encourage them to contact us for other options.
Want a few more recommendations for great places to eat and things to do on your visit to Dripping Springs? Reach out to me and I’m happy to give all of my local info! Are you interested in buying or selling a home in the Dripping Springs or Austin area? Just email or text me and we can meet up for ice cream and talk more! 512-569-8480 or firstname.lastname@example.org