The Dish: Tricycle Ice Cream

Peddling (and pedaling) ice cream sandwiches made with farm ingredients at local markets and events.

After Dave Cass gave Giovanni Salvador an ice cream machine as a birthday gift last September, it changed everything. The gym buddies began experimenting with recipes and fresh ingredients, testing frozen variations on other friends. “We got a book by David Lebovitz [The Perfect Scoop] and we made our way through the recipes,” says Salvador. “We learned everything from green tea, chocolate and strawberry to s'mores. But it was important to get those basic flavors down first.”

Meanwhile, Cass was running a successful pedicab business in Newport – Pirate Pedicab – which he continues to operate in the summers. It was then that the pair began to dream up their business idea: Tricycle Ice Cream, homemade ice cream sandwiches peddled (and pedaled) by bike, which just launched at the end of May. “I have been making money with tricycles since college,” says Cass, who also teaches at the MET School in Providence. “This was the perfect marriage of two ideas, bicycles and our love for ice cream.”

The business partners had a custom frame built for the tricycle to carry the ice box filled with treats. They are now budgeting every minute of every day preparing for the summer crunch of farmers markets, festivals and private parties. When they are not selling, they are in the Farm Fresh Rhode Island commercial kitchen, Harvest Kitchen, churning ice cream, making dough, baking cookies and assembling and packaging the ice cream sandwiches, which come in flavors like strawberry ice cream made with Rhody Fresh milk and cream and berries from Schartner Farms, nestled in between two freshly baked shortbread cookies. Other flavors include vanilla (made with real vanilla beans that are steeped for twenty-four hours) between two New Harvest Coffee espresso shortbread cookies, callebaut chocolate with salty pretzel shortbread cookies and cereal milk ice cream hugged by two cornflake shortbread cookies. This week, they’re testing out peanut butter chip ice cream with dark chocolate shortbread.

Experimenting with more than a dozen cookie dough recipes led Cass and Salvador – a 2014 Johnson and Wales University graduate with a degree in culinary arts and food service management – to come to an interesting conclusion. “Most of the cookies have five ingredients or less. We found the simpler we made the dough, the better it turned out,” Cass says. “We want it to be able to freeze well, but not too hard.”

The whole idea for the business is meant to bring back nostalgia for adults and kids alike. From growing up eating ice cream sandwiches to the Tricycle Ice Cream logo that includes a bear riding a trike, everything is reminiscent of childhood memories. “The flavors are pulled straight out of childhood like strawberry shortcake and cereal milk,” says Salvador.

Forget the ice cream truck. We want our ice cream by trike. Homemade recipes with fresh farm ingredients give the treats a creamier texture and a more concentrated flavor than store-bought brands. And the cookie variations add a whole new dimension to a familiar favorite. “We’re all about reinventing the ice cream sandwich,” says Cass.

Tricycle Ice Cream sells ice cream sandwiches at various events and farmers markets around town and is accepting catering orders. To inquire, email Salvador and Cass at tricycles.ri@gmail.com or call 401-741-3549. Follow them on Twitter at @Tricycleri and on Facebook.

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