From the desk of Lauren Palmer
When Ted and Sharyn Lindblad moved from New England to McKinney 9 years ago, it never occurred to them that owning a boozy ice cream parlor was in their future. Sharyn, an executive for JCPenney, had a long tenure in the corporate world honing skills in areas such as global sourcing, supply chain, product development, and purchasing (to name just a few). Ted, a born entrepreneur, had founded several successful companies over the years including roofing, audio equipment, and even a beef jerky production company.
In early 2019, the couple began to discuss what kind of business they could create that would combine Sharyn’s corporate knowledge with Ted’s entrepreneurial spirit and creativity. They noticed there wasn’t a grassroots ice cream shop to be found on the Downtown McKinney Square — a place they loved because it reminded them of New England. Ted’s memories of his mom and grandmother enjoying ice cream when he was a child led them to create a business that would produce ice cream unlike any other. Ted recalls, “My mom and grandmother always poured a little Kahlua on their coffee ice cream…so if we start making ice cream, we have to be different and infuse it with booze!”
When Ted and Sharyn began researching, they discovered an ice cream school in St. Louis, Missouri that would teach them the basics of making ice cream and all the options involved. They attended the week-long school and learned how to make soft serve, gelato, custard, and milkshakes as well as learning about flavoring fundamentals, toppings, and different types of cones. Sharyn especially enjoyed learning the business side of the ice cream industry and became a quick expert on suppliers, dairy farmers, and cost structure. The couple later attended an ice cream workshop in Florida where they learned about flavor trends and types of equipment. They purchased a small Italian home ice cream maker and went to work practicing.
After a few months of mixing, churning, and tasting, Ted and Sharyn approached Nine Band Brewery in Allen (one of their favorite hangouts) about offering free ice cream samples to their guests on the weekend as a way to test the market. The Lindblads paid attention to every remark, compliment, critique, and smile. The Nine Band Brewery patrons were hooked! By mid-summer — just 7 months after attending ice cream school — Ted and Sharyn partnered with Red Canoe coffee shop on the Square and became known as The Cocktail Creamery. Four months later they opened shop around the corner, inside The Donut Kitchen. While they now serve a whopping 50 flavors, Cocktail Creamery began with these 9 flavors:
- Killer Vaniller
- Particularly Pistachio
- Double Dark Goodnight Chocolate
- White Chocolate Raspberry Rumble
- White Chocolate Macamania
- Salted Butter Caramel Crazy
- Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Heaven
- Strawberry Dreams Forever
- Mango Margarita
Not long after opening, the Lindblads added kid-friendly versions (sans booze) of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. When The Donut Kitchen closed just 6 months later due to Covid-19, The Cocktail Creamery immediately moved into The Pantry Restaurant where they have their own Ice Cream Barlor. It was Tall Paul Miles of Food Walks of Texas that introduced the Lindblads to The Pantry owners, Tom and Cleo Meridith. This connection allowed The Cocktail Creamery to have more space in an established location as well as a mutually beneficial partnership. Sharyn commented, “The Pantry is knowns for their pies, and what goes better with pie than ice cream!” Ted was quick to add, “We put the Ahhh in à la mode!” And that is where you can find our friends now — in The Pantry.
Looking for a sweet treat unlike any other this weekend? Head over to The Cocktail Creamery in Downtown McKinney for some boozy ice cream–kids can try their non-alcoholic versions. Enjoy sitting at their Ice Cream Barlor or grab a few pints to take home with you. Definitely stop in and say “Hi!” to Ted and Sharyn. They are the NICEST people with some of the best ice cream I’ve EVER tasted. Stay tuned for more about The Cocktail Creamery. You can find Ted and Sharyn on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.
To learn more about Lauren and The Art of Living Beautifully, please visit our ‘about’ page.