If you were to ask my niece what the best thing about living in Florida is, she’d say it’s that you can eat ice cream all year-round!
With the consistent warm weather we’ve been having, I was prompted to take a trip to Deltona Ice Cream to get a cold, sweet treat and learn about all this shop offers.
Deltona Ice Cream’s all-white exterior, azure-colored roof and simple signage offer few clues about the complexity of ice-cream offerings inside.
Manager Morgan Hekkel was available to speak with us, and filled us in on a little bit of the establishment’s long history.
Deltona Ice Cream is about 25 years old; it was originally Deltona Rodeo Whip.
In the past, the Rodeo Whips in DeLand and Deltona were a family business, run by a mother-and-son duo.
The split from Rodeo Whip is a private matter, Morgan said, but the son, David Doolittle, branched out to start his own ice-cream shop and took over the Deltona spot, renaming it Deltona Ice Cream.
Insead of fixing up pets, as in the children’s books, David Doolittle doctors up his own handmade ice cream on location.
Morgan said David visits the parlor at night to make the ice cream that will be offered the next day.
She explained that David leaves the managerial duties to her, while he takes care of the “fun part” of preparing treats and finding fresh ingredients.
“I don’t know where he gets them, but I’ve never had pecans that tasted so good,” Morgan said of the pecans David uses for one of his many ice-cream flavors.
“He uses amazing fresh ingredients, real cream cheese, strawberry juice from fresh strawberries, and just the best ingredients,” Morgan said.
Anything David can make by hand, he does, she added.
What the outside of Deltona Ice Cream lacks in color, it makes up for in charm and visually appealing ice-cream treats. These dessert options are truly Instagram-worthy.
“Lots of people take pictures of their ice cream because it just looks insane,” Morgan said.
Ice-cream selections are the same year-round, with the exception of two seasonal flavor specials: Pumpkin and Eggnog.
“People like that our menu is always the same; they like the consistency,” Morgan said.
A popular thing to do at the parlor is to mix different flavors, which is what the employees often do. While the ice-cream shop doesn’t offer specials, a board on one of the walls lists the current employee favorites.
The combinations posted are some you may not think of. Some suggestions are flavor mixtures the employees have observed guests ordering. It’s a great way to get ideas about what to order.
Dairy-free ice cream isn’t offered, but there is a sugar-free option made with aspartame.
After all this talk of homemade ice cream, I thought it was time to break my sugar-free streak. I ordered a Banana Boat, which Morgan said is one of the more popular items.
Before visiting, I had seen pictures of it on the shop’s Facebook page, and had wanted to try it.
Packed over two bananas are three scoops of ice cream and three pumps of syrups — all of your choice.
I wanted three different scoops of ice cream, but wasn’t sure about the syrup pairings. Morgan helped, and the combinations were perfect. To top it off, she added peanuts, sprinkles, and a cherry on top.
My design: white pistachio ice cream with caramel sauce, black cherry ice cream with chocolate syrup, and Oreo ice cream with a marshmallow sauce.
What was supposed to be a sweet treat turned into a meal for my guest and me, so the Banana Boat ended up being the only thing we ordered.
It was definitely enough for two people, possibly even three. It’s served in a to-go box, and this is likely due to the huge size. You can put it in your freezer when you get home and finish it later.
Morgan said the portion sizes are another big draw to the establishment, along with the fact that they serve ice-cream treats for dogs!
Although authentic ice cream is what makes them well-known in the area, Morgan said, excellent customer service is another reason people love coming back.
“We know our customers well, and we also have the best ice cream you can get around. We’re not trying to be anything fancy; it’s just about the ice cream,” Morgan said.
I enjoyed building the tasty Banana Boat; it was a fun creative endeavor.
I had to laugh out loud when Morgan told us, “You can’t count calories in an ice-cream shop.” That might be the truest thing I’ve ever heard.
Stop in to Deltona Ice Cream and splurge a little. After all, calories don’t count there.