For almost three decades, the Venice Avenue Creamery has been the go-to spot to get a sweet treat after dinner, take the kids after a day on the beach or just pop in for a quick cone.
Though the downtown space has been renovated and updated through the years, one thing has remained the same—they always have and still do make their own premium ice cream, yogurts, sherbets and sorbets right there in-house.
Mike Phillips has been the manager of the Creamery for 26 of the 28 years it has been under its current ownership on Venice Avenue. He said that everything he sells there is made in-house.
“We offer 36 different kinds of ice cream on-site, four of which are sugar-free,” he said. “We also have four yogurts and two sorbets.”
He said that though customers seem to love all of the different flavors, the Key Lime Pie Yogurt and Salted Caramel Ice Cream are two of the consistent favorites.
But hand-dipped ice cream is not the only homemade frozen treat you can get at the Creamery. They also have a showcase full of novelty items, like Chocolate Covered Bananas (some of which are covered in nuts,) Ice Cream Sandwiches and Chocolate Covered Cheesecake and Key Lime Pie.
Phillips said that he makes all the ice creams he serves using a 14 percent butter cream mix.
“That provides a lot of extra flavor,” he said. “And then we also make our own waffle cones and brownies, too.”
If you would like a little bit of saltiness with your sweets, the Venice Avenue Creamery also makes its own flavored popcorns. You can choose from cheese, caramel or a mixture of both.
As a longtime Venice business, the Creamery and its owner Randy Etzkorn, who also owns the Shirt Stop next door, are contributing members of the Venice Community. When Hurricane Irma blew through the area, the ice cream store lost power, along with the rest of Downtown Venice.
With their airtight commercial freezers, they could have technically gone more than 48 hours before their stock began to melt. But instead, they opened up their doors to Venice residents and gave out free ice cream to everyone. Phillips said that the line to come in stretched down more than a block to Harbor Drive.
He added that they are proud to be a part of the Venice community and cherish the support they’ve received from residents throughout the years.
“We have great regulars here and many from up north who stop in when they get back to town,” he said. “We’re open until 10 p.m. every day, because people want to walk around downtown at night, and we want to be here for them. And people who come in and have never been here before say it’s the best ice cream they’ve ever had.”
The Venice Avenue Creamery is located at 249 W. Venice Ave., and is open seven days a week, from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 941-488-0332.