By Helena Hunt, Staff Writer
After renovation delays, the Waco ice cream shop Heritage Creamery is set to take its cart-bound business to a permanent location in mid-October.
Owners Blake and Kimberly Batson plan to open the brick-and-mortar Heritage Creamery location at 1123 Eighth St. by mid-October. Although the Lariat had previously reported that the store would open in April or mid-summer, opening has been delayed by renovations. A kitchen must be added to the former Harts ‘N’ Crafts store.
In the meantime, the business has operated out of a now-familiar red and wood ice cream cart pulled by a bicycle. According to Dustin Patterson, Heritage Creamery’s general manager, the cart has allowed the new business to test flavors and learn the vagaries of the ice cream industry.
“We’ve gotten to work out the kinks of ice cream production and minimize our costs,” Patterson said.
The cart has also brought the new business to locations throughout Waco. Heritage Creamery’s Instagram account shows employees selling ice cream at Magnolia Market, the Waco Downtown Farmers Market and Common Grounds. Patterson and the Batsons are passionate about supporting local businesses and using locally sourced ingredients.
“We source our ingredients locally, and therefore our flavors change as the Texas seasons change,” Patterson said. “This harkens back to a time when people didn’t have an endless supply of ingredients flown from all around the world to their closest supermarket. They worked with the ingredients that the earth gave them.”
Patterson said popular flavors like brown butter and Texas pecan, as well as ginger pear and Texas peach tea, create a tie to the local region for customers.
“We want customers to feel that they’re investing in Waco when they’re buying our ice cream,” Patterson said. “We want to be known for supporting Waco and pushing awareness of local foods and the farmers market.”
Chris McGowan, Waco’s Director of Urban Development, said he supports the mission of Heritage Creamery and similar local businesses.
“I love local businesses,” McGowan said. “They help build our community and our local identity.”
This local identity, according to Heritage Creamery, is the memory of Texas summers brought forth by quality recipes eaten with loved ones. Dustin Patterson traces the “Heritage” in Heritage Creamery to owner Blake Batson’s memories of eating his dad’s chocolate chip cookies with friends. Patterson said that the ice cream shop is meant to foster that kind of community in Waco.
Heritage Creamery’s permanent location adjacent to Common Grounds will bring the Waco community closer to Baylor’s campus. Belleville senior Caleb Byrd agrees.
“I think its proximity to Baylor will improve the on-campus experience,” Byrd said.
However, Heritage Creamery’s story will not end with the opening of the location adjacent to Common Grounds. If the business succeeds, Patterson and the Batsons say they hope to take their ice cream even farther.
“In the future, we might potentially open up other locations and move into other cities,” Patterson said.