Filipino American ice cream shop plans fall opening in Orlando

Co-owners of The Greenery Creamery plan to open Sampaguita in Mills 50 District

Halo-halo from Sampaguita Ice Cream (Sampaguita Ice Cream)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The co-owners of The Greenery Creamery are getting ready to open a new, Filipino American-style ice cream shop with plans to set up shop in Orlando’s Mills 50 District.

Sampaguita Ice Cream will set up shop at 1236 E. Colonial Drive, sandwiched between Mamak Asian Street Food and Tasty Wok. The space used to house a spa depot, but it is now being converted into two business spaces; one will be occupied by Sampaguita while Haan Coffee Roasters will sit in the other.


“This is a concept that is paying homage to my culture — my parents, (my) ancestry — bringing something to Orlando that doesn’t currently exist and I’m not sure that it does exist in Florida at all,” Mercado said.

Mercado and her partner have been working in the ice cream industry since 2018 when they opened The Greenery Creamery in downtown Orlando. The pair later opened a second location in Sanford. On top of that, they have been operating Sampaguita as a pop-up for about two years.

“We’re hoping to do one (pop-up) every single month until we’re open,” Mercado said. “Hopefully we’re opening in the fall.”

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Mercado said they plan to offer very traditional baked goods in addition to their ice creams.

“There will be recipes from my family that have been passed down that will be used in the baked goods,” she said.

The baked goods offered will include ube cupcakes, silvanas, pan de sal and sans rival. Mercado added the ice creams will be slightly less traditional, but still feature flavors familiar to the Filipino palate.

“The ice cream will be like a flare and there will be a mix of things. So I might have like a traditional mango, but then we’ll do something different. So we’ll bring like rocky road and we’ll call it a Filipino rocky road using childhood favorite things — like Milo, it’s a malted chocolate drink. We’ll use that to make the chocolate base and then we’ll do traditional mix-ins. So, rocky road is a very American ice cream, but then we’re gonna put the Filipino spin on it.”

Mercando said Sampaguita will also offer halo-halo, a traditional Filipino dessert parfait that features layers of shaved ice, gelatin, fruit and other flavors.

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Mercado said all of the ice creams and baked goods will be prepared on-premise, similar to The Greenery Creamery. However, Sampaguita will be independent of The Greenery Creamery, but Mercado said it will share some of the same values.

“We will try to use some local ingredients. We’ll try to feature local collaborations within our community and still be a community-centered space. And we will offer vegan menu items as well,” she said.

Mercado said she is excited to share some of her heritage with the people of Orlando.

“It’s presenting desserts from the heart, and in a way that I have learned from my culture,” she said. “It’s kind of like storytelling — like of my family, and recipes that have been passed on for generations — and I’m sharing that with my own twist. So we’re not necessarily catering to a traditional palate. We won’t be making things necessarily the way that our parents’ generation did. Everything will truly be a Filipino-American twist. I think that’s what I’m most excited about.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and 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.