James A. Jones Jr. The Bradenton Herald
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Two food entrepreneurs are finding "sweet success" by combining their recipes to create delicious new dessert combinations.
Take a thick serving of gourmet vanilla ice cream and place rich chocolate chunk cookies on either side, and you have "A Delicious Duo."
The ice cream sandwich, fully loaded with sweet flavor, is the product of a collaboration between Mel Engel and Todd Eaton, owners of Alice Scooper's Gourmet Ice Cream, and Cindy Unzicker, owner of Bite Me Cookies by Cindy.
Unzicker, bakes her six-inch cookies in Bradenton's Village of the Arts, and sells them from her food truck at neighborhoods and special events around Manatee County.
When Unzicker learned that Alice Scooper's opened a year ago and was making small batches of gourmet ice cream, she thought maybe the owners would be interested in her idea for an ice cream sandwich.
"I reached out to Mel and she said come over and let's talk," Unzicker said. Once she understood Unzicker's passion for baking and the quality of her cookies, Engel embraced the idea.
"They are the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had, so it was an easy decision," Engel said.
Besides, the two entrepreneurs quickly hit it off, personally and philosophically.
"We would rather make less money than cut corners. We are very protective of our crafts. Quality and customer service comes before profits," Engel said.
The partners recently debuted "A Delicious Duo" at Harrison Ranch in East Manatee and sold out.
They will formally introduce "A Delicious Duo" 3:30 — 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 13, at Alice Scooper's, 1057 Riverside Drive, at the Regatta Pointe Marina in Palmetto. Cookie sundaes and ice cream sandwiches will be available for $5. Look for Unzicker's cookie mobile out front.
Unzicker believes the partnership could evolve beyond ice cream sandwiches.
Mel Engel and Todd Eaton opened Alice Scooper's in April 2020 just as the full weight of the coronavirus pandemic was beginning to be felt.
"Because it was ice cream, it saved us," she said of the launch of a new business in the midst of an economic downturn. "We have such a loyal following. The community has embraced us. Without the community we wouldn't have made it."
She makes all of her ice cream from scratch and is self taught, coming into the business after working 13 years as a registered nurse.
The menu now includes 29 flavors.
Best sellers? In no particular order: cookies and cream, banana pudding, strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, and butter pecan. Alice Scooper's also has four vegan flavors and two Keto flavors. There is also a special flavor of the week, called the "crazy train."
Rather than conventionally name the flavors, each carries a name reminiscent of rock 'n' roll. For instance a scoop of creamy milk chocolate is a "Bad Bad Leroy Brown," a scoop of mint chocolate is "Green Day," and a scoop of coffee ice cream is "Start Me Up."
Alice Scooper's is continually introducing new flavors. One new flavor is chocolate with a peanut butter swirl.
"Hard work pays off if you have vision and follow through," Unzicker said.
Unzicker's vision manifested itself in 2015 when she started making her huge, luscious cookies. In 2017, she began delivering them in her cookie van, with its flashing lights, cookie music, and announcements on her speaker system..
Alicer Scooper's is open noon- 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon- 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon-8 p.m. Sunday. The business is closed Monday.
For more information, visit alicescoopers.com or call 941-243-6621. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.