LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Disney Springs has a new sweet spot to mark off your ice cream bucket list.
Salt & Straw officially opened its doors to Central Florida foodie fans on Wednesday morning. The Portland-based, family-run ice cream company is known for its innovative, handmade, taste-provoking flavors that take fans on a never-ending flavor adventure.
Kim Malek, the company co-owner said she had been dreaming of opening an ice cream shop since the mid 90′s, and with a little help from her cousin Tyler Malek, the two started churring out a delicious business that has now branched to areas around the country.
“I got in touch with my cousin Tyler who was just starting culinary school, and he moved into our basement and started making ice cream in the kitchen, and things sort of unrolled from there,” Kim Malek said. “We opened a food cart in Alberta Arts District in Portland, and then shortly thereafter opened a store and it’s kind of actually been a lot of organic growth. So, to be down here in Disney World is sort of mind-blowing!”
This is Salt & Straw’s second time partnering with Disney after opening their first location at Disneyland in California in 2018.
“Honestly, we were nervous when we first opened. You know, even from a flavor perspective, I was even rewriting the menu and trying to figure out how do I make this maybe more approachable, or do I change it,” Tyler Malek said. “We had so much fun putting that together and now you know, come three, four years later, we’re opening in Disney World and we’ve got this menu that is just epic!”
The name Salt & Straw is unique in itself and takes ice cream fans back to a century ago.
“We wanted to name the company and give a nod to the way they made ice cream at the turn of the century when it was first introduced in the United States,” Kim Malek said. “They would obviously turn it by hand and so they would add rock salt to the ice so that’s the salt and then they would pack it on straw or hay to keep it cold because we didn’t have freezers, so that’s Salt & Straw.”
Some of the 17 flavors on the menu include sea salt with carmel ribbons, honey lavender, double fold vanilla, Arbequina olive oil, salted malted chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate gooey brownie and, a nod to Miami-natives, Panther Coffee chocolate tres Leches.
“We change our menu every four weeks and so when you come to Salt & Straw, you’re always going to find something new and we like to use ice cream as a form of like storytelling,” Kim Malek said.
During its first few weeks of being open at Disney Springs, ice cream lovers can indulge in limited edition flavors created by five students including The Adventurous Llamanaut, Rosie The Pink Flamingo, Triple Tropic Twist, The Ice Cream of Moo and Bottomless Limes.
In May, the shop will roll out flavors that pay tribute to flowers.
“I think it’s such an incredible partnership to have kind of a small artisan company on this global stage and that Disney would take a chance and partner with us in this way and that people from all over the world would be interested in what we’re doing and what we’re bringing for this incredible honor,” Kim Malek said.
The ice cream will be served in traditional waffle cones and cups or guests can take a pint home.
In addition to ice cream, the shop will be selling a number of additional merchandise items including Tyler’s Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook, tumblers, ice cream scoops, hats, candles, pins and a special unisex perfume called “A Whiff of Waffle Cone.”
What are Kim and Tyler’s favorite flavors?
“I don’t play favorites. I’ve made I think maybe 1,200 ice creams in the past 10 years,” Tyler Malek said. “I fall in love with one flavor every month. I learn everything about it — I have so much fun making it, tasting, and eating it and then and then it disappears and there’s a new flavor. So there’s something magical about that.”
Kim Malek said her personal favorite is the Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper.
The new ice cream shop is located in between the AMC Theaters and the Sosa Family Cigars Co.
Salt & Straw is open daily during the Disney Springs operating hours.
Click here to learn more about Salt & Straw.
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