Tie-dyed ice cream shop opening new location in Lake County

Mystic Ice Cream plans to open its Eustis location on Feb. 1

Sundae from Mystic Ice Cream (Darrel Day/Mystic Ice Cream)

EUSTIS, Fla. – Darrell Day and his wife, Lisa, are bringing their tie-dyed ice cream shop to a new Lake County community in 2022.

The couple owns Mystic Ice Cream which got its start in Fruitland Park at 1217 W. Miller Blvd., just outside The Villages. The ice cream parlor offers 32 flavors at any given time, including some “adult ice cream” which contains some alcohol.


The pair opened a second location in Leesburg in early 2021 and now have a spot in Eustis for their third location.

Mystic Ice Cream's Leesburg location (Darrel Day/Mystic Ice Cream)

“Lisa and I are thrilled to be running a small business in this area,” Darrell Day said.

The pair took over Mystic Ice Cream from its original owner on Dec. 10, 2019, and just recently celebrated their two-year anniversary owning the business.

“We came back to The Villages to take care of (Lisa’s) mom and we knew that Lisa wanted to make a change from nursing to run an ice cream shop and she had been studying ice cream making with the former owner of Mystic Ice Cream,” Darrel Day said. So, (Lisa) went back to him and said, ‘Would you be interested in selling?’ and he said, ‘Well, actually, I would.’ It’s not too much more complex than that.”

While Lisa Day moved on from nursing, Darrell Day still practices his old trade — to a degree.

“I‘m a former opera singer,” Darrell Day said. So doing the entertainment for the businesses is really easy for me. I am also a pianist and composer. So that’s where I spend a lot of my time. When I’m not selling ice cream, I’m at the piano.”

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The pair had actually been planning to open their own ice cream shop for a while. Prior to buying Mystic, the pair were planning to open a parlor in Natchez, Mississippi, but plans changed when Lisa Day’s mother needed additional care.

“We decided we needed to be back in The Villages to take care of her and so we sold the building (in Mississippi) and came back,” Darrell Day said.

As previously mentioned, the pair bought the Fruitland Park parlor in December of 2019. Not long after, the pandemic hit putting the new entrepreneurs in a pinch.

“Lisa and I are Christian, and we believe strongly in prayer. And when the virus hit, we had just purchased a business. We didn’t know what to do. And so we said ‘God, how do we proceed from there,” Darrell Day said. “And the next day Lisa goes, ‘Darrell, why don’t we open the front window and we’ll sell ice cream out the front window?” And I said, ‘What front window?’ I didn’t remember that we had one.”

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The window sales paid off for the couple and the business ultimately prospered.

“People came in droves because they knew Mystic Ice Cream in The Villages area and they didn’t want us to go anywhere,” Darrell Day said. “So, it was a compliment to the ice cream and to the business itself.”

The window sales worked out so well, that the pair purchased a truck to sell their ice cream on the road.

“We started going to a variety of communities,” Darrell Day said. “Because of the virus people weren’t going into establishments but they loved to walk up to the truck and buy an ice cream.”

Mystic Ice Cream's truck (Darrel Day/Mystic Ice Cream)

After that, the Days opened up their Leesburg parlor, 314 W. Main St.. in February 2021, which is slightly smaller and does not feature the live entertainment of the original location.

“We focus on polite conversation and witty repartee,” Darrell Day said.

Now, the couple is looking to open their third location at 38 E. Magnolia Ave. in Eustis. They have their sites set on a Feb. 1, 2022 opening date.

“We’re just now beginning work on the shop space in Eustis. We won’t be ready for several weeks yet with that,” Darrell Day said.

After that shop is finally up and running, the pair plan to enjoy the fruits of the labor.

“We’ll take a breather,” Darrell Day said. “Lisa makes all the ice cream. My little joke about it as she cranks and cranks all night long on the back porch. That’s really not true, but it’s a lot of work. She makes 400 gallons of ice cream a week. And I can see that number rising with the opening in Eustis.”

Darrell Day said he and his wife look forward to becoming part of a new community.

“I think it’s important to know that we will be an active part of what takes place in Eustis,” he said. “So all the special events they do there, we’ll be present for that. I think we have something for everyone. It’s a family business and it’s kooky fun and — these days to actually have a time where you can and just enjoy yourself and not worry about politics or the rest of the world — we try to set a tone for that with our business.”

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.