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Matthew Eastman making vanilla ice cream.

Four years ago, Matthew Eastman started making small batches of ultra-rich ice cream flavored with top-shelf ingredients in his garage and selling it at block parties and festivals.

Last April, an executive at Tampa’s Amalie Arena noticed people at an Ybor City festival standing in line for Eastman’s Lickity Splits ice cream and decided to give it a try. A few days later, he asked Eastman to supply ice cream to the arena, which hosts hundreds of events each year. “We went from nothing to being a partner up there,” says Eastman. Eastman hopes to soon move from his 1,400-square-foot space to a 20,000-square-foot facility.

Lickity Splits comes in 26 flavors. Top sellers include mint chocolate chip, Chiclets-flavored bubblegum and York Peppermint Patty.

Traditional ice cream is at least 12 percent fat. Lickity Splits’ fat content is between 16 and 22 percent, depending on the flavor.

Lickity Splits ice cream is churned for 14 minutes, then transferred to a three-gallon tub and blast-chilled in a freezer set to -50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Two 1960s Electro Freeze ice cream makers can each churn four gallons at a time. Eastman says making ice cream in small batches improves flavor.

The base mix is manufactured by St. Petersburg’s Dairy-Mix, Inc., which also supplies mixes to McDonald’s and Dairy Queen.

At last fall’s Taste of Manatee, Lickity Splits won Best Dessert, as well as Best Use of Local Ingredients.

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