Through the door at Smucker Farms market at 2118 14th St. NW, inside a pale blue freezer that looks gorgeously transplanted from the Americana ether-world, you will find stacks of gourmet ice cream sandwiches. They sit there courtesy of CreamCycle, the latest confectionary outlet for Carlos Delgado, formerly of Volt and Smith Commons and current Executive Chef at West End Latin “speakeasy” Boveda. By the end of this month, Washingtonians will be catered to at various street corners and gathering spots with new twists and spins on a classic dessert. (BONUS: Become a VIPER and get to taste them BEFORE ANYONE else at our special VIPER happy hour next week. #PERKS)
Food trucks be damned. CreamCycle will be using tricycles so that their treats can be simultaneously available at different spots throughout the city (without investing outrageous sums of cash in fuel and transportation costs) — Really sweet tricycles, we should note. CreamCycle’s three-wheeled mobile shops are fun to look at. In Peru, where Delgado grew up, the sight of a tricycle with a freezer full of ice cream is delightfully common.
Do not be shocked if these repurposed velocipedes become a familiar part of the D.C. landscape in the not so distant future. The trikes you see in the pictures were designed and built by Apoxy, CreamCycle’s resident master of creating shit from nothing, “like, with metal and shit.”
Other CreamCycle partners are none other than Toki Underground investor Jeff Jetton, his brother Ryan Jetton, and Alexis Thornlow, who’s done branding for Toki Underground and Drafting Table. Delgado and Apoxy sat down with BYT this week to talk about their exciting new business, bullshit green advertising schemes, and weed delivery services.
BYT: What’s the story with the trikes?
Apoxy: I knew Jeff [Jetton] from film. We used to make horrible little films together for the 48 Hour Film Fest (it’s basically just a bunch of failed film makers getting drunk, with two days to make a film) and I guess, like, five years later, he was coming down the street, he stopped in here for some reason, said he wanted to start an ice cream company, and he wanted to sell that shit on tricycles. I was running a pedicab fleet at the time. It worked out.
Delgado: There’s a large company in Peru with all these yellow bikes that are everywhere, and they sell different kinds of ice cream. I wanted to take the same concept and build it here, with just ice cream sandwiches.
BYT: How do you get them to look so nice?
Apoxy: We either buy really old, busted Worksman tricycles from New York or Philly on Craigslist and refurbish them, or we build them from scratch … like, with metal and shit.
BYT: Ice cream sandwiches seem like a throwback.
Delgado: Ice cream really took a hit when frozen yogurt came out. You don’t hear much about ice cream anymore…
BYT: [coughs] At some point are your customers going to be able to order the ice cream sandwiches and you’ll deliver them? Like, [searching for proper analogy] off the record I guess, would you compare this to a weed delivery service or something? [laughs] Is some guy going to show up at my door with, like, a backpack of differently flavored ice cream sandwiches?
Apoxy: No, not like that [laughs]. You can definitely put that in there, though. The big difference between what we’re doing and a weed delivery service is, well, weed is super light. You can put that shit in a backpack. To do this, you need dry ice and a three hundred pound cart, so we’ll just post up and let people come to us. We’ll deliver special orders if people want us to.
BYT: I imagine your approach has obvious benefits over the food truck concept, in terms of overhead and fuel costs.
Apoxy: A lot of those guys spend a quarter of what they make on their fuel, not to mention you have to throw, like, fifty grand into your first food truck. Fuck that. Tricycles work great.
BYT: What flavors should I try first?
Delgado: The Jalapeño Chocolate. It’s a chocolate butter cookie with a spicy jalapeño ice cream.
BYT: Where do you guys have freezers set up right now?
Apoxy: Smucker Farms, and Bean and Bite coming next week. There are definitely more locations to come, we just can’t say where yet.
BYT: Anything else people should know about CreamCycle?
Delgado: As soon as we’re constantly producing, we’re going to start rotating in special flavors that aren’t on the list – we’ll only tell people about them on social media. I’m going to start importing Peruvian fruits that you cannot find here, that are very delicious. We’ll make them in small batches.
Apoxy: One cool thing we do that we refuse to fully market because it’s so cheesy – I don’t know, like, if we were looking to get into that cheesy-ass green marketing scheme, and like, greenwashing – we totally could. [laughs] I mean, everything we do is completely green. We build all this shit out of re-purposed and recycled… [circumspecting his workroom full of refurbished appliances] All these freezers we repair from Craigslist. All this wood comes from pallets. All of this wood on the top [points to his hand-crafted freezer] comes from trees that I pulled the fuck out of a park, like, fallen storm trees. So everything in here is …
BYT: About as green as it gets I guess.
Apoxy: I guess so, yeah. Oh, and, yeah; we use tricycles.
BYT: It seems like ‘sustainability’ could be the whole marketing scheme.
Apoxy: Yeah, if we were really unoriginal, that would be our angle. [laughs] We’d be “GreenCycle” or something like that. This sort of stuff was green before it was “green,” ya know? Like, people were peddling around selling stuff on bikes in the ‘50s and ’60s; no one thought it was “cutting edge.” We’re really just borrowing a classic idea.
Watch for more CreamCycle bikes and carts this spring and summer…