While at a second-floor table with a view of Mitchell's Homemade Ice Cream's 6,000-square-foot Ohio City production kitchen, co-owner Mike Mitchell outstretches his arms and pontificates about ice cream as if he were the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. "I imagine myself in heaven, surrounded by this quintessence of ice cream," says Mitchell. "I know exactly what the perfect vanilla, strawberry or chocolate looks and tastes like, and I'm constantly striving to reach that platonic level of flavors that I behold in my mind." For Mike and his brother, Pete, ice cream starts with sustainably grown and locally sourced ingredients found in their 36 flavors.
Cool Facts ↝ In the Mitchell brothers' view, ice cream is part Picasso and part Pasteur. "We look at ice cream as an art: How does it look and taste?" Mike says. Then they analyze its scientific properties. "How do the ingredients behave when they freeze? Does it melt down watery or thick? Ours is in-between," he says. "It melts nice and warm on the tongue, even though it's 12 degrees when we serve it." Flavor Fix ↝ Although the duo offers creative flavors such as black raspberry chocolate chunk and caramel fudge brownie, most customers are traditionalists. "Vanilla bean, cookies and cream, mint chocolate chunk, chocolate, butter pecan and chocolate peanut butter cup — the classics that have been around for decades — are our most popular," Pete says. Ice Cream Therapy ↝ Mike says the connection lasts beyond that last lick. "Inside every adult is a little kid," he says. "Ice cream transports you back to happy times of childhood. It forms an association that lasts the rest of your life." Organic Growth ↝ The Northeast Ohio business has grown steadily throughout the last 16 years. Mitchell's plans to open its ninth store in Strongsville by early 2016. "Our intention is never to be as big as we can be," Mike says. "It's about being as proud as we can be."
When You Go ↝ Various locations, mitchellshomemade.com