Ice Cream Dreamin'
Big Spoon Creamery
I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream.
At Big Spoon Creamery, it couldn’t be truer. It all started on a driveway in Bluff Park, Alabama; Geri-Martha and Ryan O’Hara had a joint dream to start an ice cream shop. So they decided to open an ice-cream stand à la those old fashioned lemonade stands. It didn’t take long for the duo to have six homemaking ice cream machines buzzing in their kitchen at once. Quickly, they noticed the intense demand for their craft ice cream. They started out with a tricycle but eventually bought their trusted food-truck, lovingly dubbed “Bessie.” They quit their day jobs as chefs to pursue their passion. Big Spoon Creamery combines the O’Hara’s passion for people and ice cream.
In April of 2016, they opened their very own storefront with a full kitchen and plenty of ways to display their oh-so-good handcrafted ice cream. Their menu is seasonal and always made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Willing to test boundaries and push limits, the O’Hara’s have no fear. They experiment with all sorts of ingredients: yuzu (a japanese citrus), bourbon, cereal, and rum-soaked sponge cake. Throughout the year the menu may include anything from trusted ice cream flavors to homemade hot chocolate to Georgia Nell’s Pecan Pie to ice cream “sammies,” or sandwiches. The O’Hara’s are committed to innovative, and bold flavors, but also to reinventing the classics. Their goal is to be the best ice cream shop in the world.
While making the best ice cream is definitely a dream of theirs, the O’Hara’s also have another vision that compliments their first. They want to give back. Their desire to serve and support those around them goes beyond just their team and their customers—it goes to their community.
“If we don’t use what we have to make a difference in someone else’s life, what is this all for?"
"I genuinely think we have the ability to make the best ice cream in the world," says Ryan, "But if that’s all it is and all we are, then that feels shallow to me. Does that really matter? Is that really changing people’s lives?”
Ryan O’Hara is a competitive forward thinker but he believes growth is deeper than a dollar sign. He understands the opportunities that it could mean for his team and those around him. “We hope to leverage the resources and success we have personally, and as a company, to be able to impact the people around us: our team, our customers, our community.”
That's why Big Spoon Creamery is part of the small business give back movement. By partnering with The Well House and the Christian Service Ministry, they live out their goal of being servant leaders within their community.
Ryan never thought the company could grow as large as it is. “I never imagined, even in our wildest dreams, that Big Spoon would be what it is, or that we would be on the journey."
"Nobody was ever changed by mediocre service or products. When we do things with excellence it enables and gives us an opportunity to give people an unforgettable experience.”
Words by Holly Moore
Photos provided by Big Spoon Creamery