By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large
When you think of hip hop, you probably think of artists like Dr. Dre, Tupac, and Kanye West. The furthest from your mind is probably ice cream. But, Mr. Kream in Miami’s Wynwood is merging hip hop and ice cream to offer foodies something much different than a traditional ice cream shop.
The ice cream shop and spray paint store has two DJs as the owners, who have made sure that every detail of their concept has a hip-hop flava.
"We always had a passion for ice cream and hip-hop, so we decided to merge the two together. Ice cream actually is a very big title in the hip-hop community, it's used in many songs and slang terms. We figured it would be a cool way to playoff ice cream names with famous hip-hop songs," said Ari Kalimi, one of the owners at Mr. Kream, whose favorite hip-hop artist of all-time is The Notorious B.I.G. (R.I.P.)
The Funky Aesthetics
Wynwood, where the shop is located, already has a lot of hip hop flavor, with graffiti murals all over the buildings. Mr. Kream is right in the middle of some art galleries and the popular Wynwood arcade.
"Wynwood is a eclectic melting pot of people, merging art music and fashion all together. By opening an out the box ice cream shop, we figured the way to spread awareness is to have it in the art district, where people would understand the creative side of being more than just the ice cream shop," said Kalimi.
From the outside of the store, you have no idea what's inside.
The first thing you see when you walk in is a DJ booth with paintings of famous hip-hop artists hanging above it on the wall. This is where famous Miami DJs spin for guests, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, as the bite into a sweet treat.
The seating area to the left is surrounded by photos of rap pioneers and graffiti on the walls. In the front of the store is a long communal table and funky couches where guests can play some old school games. There is even a classic stand-up arcade machine.
Behind the DJ booth is the spray paint shop, where customers can even buy edible spray paint and get creative with their ice cream. There is also some merchandise, like hats and T-shirts to buy if you want to get your swag on.
"The spray paint shop represents what the original store was before we merged with the two shops together. Along with graffiti being known as one of the elements of hip pop, we thought it would be a nice twist to start carrying edible spray paint so guests could add their own artistic twist to their Sundaes," said Kalimi.
There’s a second room with a bar, chairs and tables and there’s a backyard too. The store channels it's outside surroundings and is like an art gallery and arcade in itself
Mr. Kream also caters to the late-night crowd. The shop is open from noon to 10 p.m. most days, but stays open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays.
The Hip-Hop-Themed Menu
The ice cream flavors or “track listings” include the “A$AP” Rocky Road, “Vanilla Ice,” and “Snoopstachio,” “Salt & Peppa,” and “LL Cool Crunch.”
Not sure what you want? Or want a sample first? An ice cream expert will be happy to explain the flavors and offer samples. Fun fact: they have spoons that change color when ice cold.
"We are known for our out of the box flavors, paired with funky flavored waffles. One of our number one sellers is 2 Live Blue, which is basically cookie dough and Oreos inside of a blue vanilla ice cream. Another big one for us is the De la Guava, which is a guava cheesecake ice cream. It's very big in the Latino and Caribbean community and t's named after the famous De La Soul," said Kalimi.
There are an array of sundaes like The Fat Boy, which is a brownie sundae on a Belgium waffle. For those not looking for a side of breakfast with their ice cream, there is the 004 Connec Hot Fudge Sundae, the Nutella Sundae and the Banana Splitt Starr.
Besides serving punny ice cream flavors and sundaes, there are sorbets and popsicles, including the Rickey Rozay Mimosa Popsicle and the Sangria Popsicle. The menu also features ice cream shakes, coffee shakes, floats, beer and soda.
Above the ice cream display are tubes of different toppings so the guests can get even more creative with their tasty treat.
Some of the current specials include 50% for students with an I.D. from 12-2 pm during the week and on Sundays, there is a the buy one Brownie Sundae and get the second half off special.
If you haven't heard of this place until now, that's probably because it just opened in late February. But, it's safe to say, it really does fit right in on the trendy Wynwood street. But, Wynwood isn't only market the owners plan to stay in.
"The future goals for Mr. Kream are number one to expand the brand into a couple other markets, such as New York City and west Hollywood in LA, along with other pop-up shops coming to major markets for big events. Two, once we have four to five independently owned locations, we will then start to franchise our concept and brand. And last but not least, we are going to start Mr. Kream distribution, which is going to create packaging and distribution throughout the country. So hopefully our ice cream will be in your favorite local corner store, along with all the big box stores throughout the country," said Kalimi.