The Taste Food Tour :: Fear’s Confections & Ice Cream Joy
As the 2016 Taste Food Tour comes to a close, and the Taste of Lakewood is only a few sleeps away, what better way to end this gastronomic journey than with dessert?
Neither of my first tastes of goodies from these shops actually occurred in Lakewood. Before either had storefronts, they sold their offerings in other locations.
I enjoyed my first Ice Cream Joy experience via pre-portioned scoops in a to-go cup sold at Susy’s Soup in Tower City Center in Cleveland, And we purchased more than a few Fear’s Confections brownies and a Han Solo (frozen in dark chocolate “carbonite,” at that) molded candy during various visits to the Cleveland Flea.
Now, both sweet shops have their own retail spaces, adjoined by a single door. When both are open at the same time, you can move between the two and create your own custom dessert. If you buy one of Cassandra Fear’s delectable brownies or other baked goods, you might then have the urge to head over to top it off with some ice cream, sauce and whipped cream.
That’s perfectly OK. Fear and Ice Cream Joy owner Marissa Flynn encourage it. They’ll even give you a discount for supporting both businesses. Flynn also makes ice cream sandwiches with Fear’s cookies and uses its chocolate in her ice creams.
Fear moved her confectionery to Lakewood from the east side’s Waterloo Arts District, opening in October 2014. This isn’t your average sweet shop. Here you’ll find everything from sci-fi molded chocolates (Tardis, Death Star and my beloved Han Solo, to name just a few) and other unique candies, many hand-dipped.
She also creates unusually delectable brownie combinations. Think lavender citrus blondies, graveyard-shift brownies (infused with dark espresso and toasted almonds) and Evil Monkey in the Closet (dark chocolate with fresh mashed banana). That’s just a few to get your taste buds curious.
The shop also advertises limited edition desserts on social media. Fear makes them and sells them until they’re gone. And when they’re gone, they’re gone. She calls it #confectionchaos and includes amazing pictures of these pastries, including Coffee Cake Kerfuffle, bread pudding made with the 80-year Fear family coffee cake recipe; and the Enrique Anglaise-ias, almond butter cake with triple berry compote, topped with anglaise whipped cream and fresh berries.
Her most recent offering? The decadent Choco Khan. In Fears’ own words: Berry wine reduction and chocolate icing sandwiched between 2 chocolate cakes, smothered with dark chocolate ganache and topped with dark chocolate shards.
Flynn, who also maintains an active social media presence for Ice Cream Joy, opened her business in May 2015. She launched her storefront after using Susy’s Soup and crowdfunding on Indiegogo as her entrepreneurial stepping stones.
From Day 1, Flynn sought to supplement Cleveland’s already thriving craft ice cream scene with artisan dairy and vegan ice creams and sorbets in unique flavors. All are sourced locally as much as possible.
Because she makes flavors in small batches, she constantly rotates in new flavors as one runs out. Current artisan offerings (at the time I am writing this) include Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Mashup, Super Chocolate Cherry Chunk, Sweet Cream Biscuits, Strawberry Dark Chocolate Balsamic, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds in Amber Lager and Cinnamon Sugar.
Her creativity doesn’t disappoint. On a recent visit, Scott ordered a scoop of the Avocado Vanilla Limeade, a creamy creation with a perfect balance of tastes, none overpowering the others. He is debating giving the Caramelized Onion and White Cheddar a try on his next order.
I drool over the wide choice of dairy flavors but sadly dairy and I no longer are friends. While this might seem like TMI (too much information), it’s really a bonus, because the family easily can divide and conquer a menu on repeated visits.
I spend a lot of time seeking non-dairy ice cream options that still have a texture reminiscent of traditional offerings. I’ve had great luck at Ice Cream Joy. The vegan selections, made from a base of coconut, almond and soy milks, unless otherwise noted, have a nice texture and even better flavor.
If you’re feeling more traditional, give the peanut butter chocolate chip a try. If you’re feeling adventurous, I recommend the soy-free Cayenne Sweet Potato Pecan.
My new addiction is Flynn’s homemade chocolate chip waffle cones. For $1 more, you can enjoy the scoop of your choice in one of these treats, which only further gilds the Ice Cream Joy lily. Spend the dollar. You’ll be glad you did. I know I was.
–Robin Suttell, Taste of Lakewood blogger