DIG IN TO CALLIOPE ICE CREAM
By Sujhey Beisser and Rachel Werner
Calliope Ice Cream founder Staci Fritz is taking palates to unexpected places with her creative and innovative flavors using top-notch ingredients.
Once a blank canvas in the maker’s imagination, Calliope Ice Cream is now available in six varieties. The kosher product teases the taste buds with flavors like the Hearty Breakfast, an implausible combination of French toast, bacon and whiskey that’s delightfully pungent and sweet. Fritz’s newest addition to the line is a refreshing LemonLavender—a complementary bookend to the chipotle pepper-flecked Mexican Hot Chocolate and the even more adventurous Hot Peanut Butter that’s infused with Sriracha. Alternatively, Calliope’s best seller Brandy Old Fashion yields cherry notes capped off by dry bitters.
Fritz is enthusiastic about introducing ice cream lovers to a new and different experience by taking ice cream beyond familiar flavors—surprising the consumer in every scoop. She also feels lucky to have co-owner Nick Martin along for the ride since the two also have day jobs at Ian’s Pizza Madison, where Fritz is the account manager and Martin a managing partner. “We think of Calliope as a sister company to Ian’s Pizza since the Ian’s restaurants both here and in Milwaukee were some of Calliope’s first customers and have been very supportive all along the way,” she says.
Fritz’s philosophy is rooted in a desire to have fun growing the brand in a manner that encourages consumers to sample beyond the boxed ice cream on grocery store frozen aisles. “We think of ice cream as a neutral base that can go almost anywhere, choosing to make it a little bit savory or a little bit spicy,” Fritz says, beaming. “It doesn’t have to be super-sweet with the same ingredients all the time. Think of it as mindfully playing with your food!”
Calliope Ice Cream is also sold at Hy-Vee and Metcalfe’s. For additional local vendors, visit: calliopeicecream.com.