It seems like every day Des Moines becomes increasingly well known for the small businesses and unique dining options that it offers. One local ice cream business that keeps Des Moines natives coming back is Black Cat Ice Cream.
Black Cat Ice Cream is a micro-business that is owned and operated by Des Moines resident, Alex Carter with the help of his wife Angela. Carter wears many hats in the business from creating and serving the ice cream to building up their social media presence. It’s a family business right down to the inspiration for the name, which comes from Boo Bear, the family’s black cat who has a sweet tooth for ice cream.
All of the ice cream flavors at Black Cat Ice Cream are created in-house and are rotated out within a few weeks to make room for new flavors. One of Carter’s favorite parts of the business is seeing what popular flavors are out there and then one-upping them or putting a unique twist on classic flavors. Their flavors are always changing depending on what is in season but some of the most requested and most unique flavors include:
- Strawberry rhubarb supreme
- Peanut butter and jelly and chips
- Blueberry pancake
- Red velvet Oreo
- Campfire Smores
- Coffee and donuts
- Chocolate ghost chili
- Brown sugar peach
In fact, at Black Cat Ice Cream part of the secret to creating an innovative hit flavor is the use of fresh ingredients. “Sometimes I’ll go to Whole Foods to look around and see what looks good in order to get inspiration from what is naturally in season,” said Carter.
In addition to using fresh fruit, Black Cat Ice Cream makes an effort to use local ingredients, including local grass-fed milk and cream. That’s all part of the process of making ice cream the old fashioned way, in bucket mixers with no additives.
Using local ingredients in their ice cream is also a way to involve the community that has allowed their business to thrive. As Carter said, “we started as a small idea that’s grown with the support of the community. This is the type of business that if I didn’t have that support we’d be nothing.”
Luckily for all of us, Des Moines residents tend to pride themselves on their trendiness and the unique opportunities offered here. “It’s good that we have the business here in Des Moines because if you do something that’s new and creative people are always willing to come out and give you a shot.”
If you are excited to see what flavors are available this week at Black Cat Ice Cream you can find more information on their Facebook page, where Carter regularly posts updates on his inventive flavors and sometimes, as an added bonus, shares pictures of Boo Bear, the black cat that started it all. You can also visit Black Cat Ice Cream at their service window located at 1501 Grand Ave, Des Moines, Iowa.