When she was in her 20s, Janice Sigler thought about opening an ice cream shop. After two decades working for the University of Michigan, the idea came back to her.
"I just decided to do something completely different," she says. "I went out to Massachusetts to work with someone out there who makes their own ice cream, just to get a sense of whether or not it would be something I wanted to do."
It was. Sigler is now renovating the building she purchased on W. Liberty and S. First St into Blank Slate Creamery
, an ice cream store specializing in natural ingredients. Rather than including emulsifiers and other chemicals, Sigler's treats will be made from cream, cane sugar, milk and eggs — as well as a number of interesting, all natural flavors.
"We have a coffee flavor that we're using Mighty Good coffee in, a pistachio with actual roasted pistachios pureed in the mix, and I've been experimenting with rice krispie treat," Sigler says. "One of the unusual sorbets cactus pear, which is bright pink naturally, so it's very pretty."
Renovations on the 1,300 square foot space include adding interior walls, counter seating, some windows, as well as a pasteurizing and ice cream making room that will be visible to customers when they visit. Sigler intends a great customer experience to be part of Blank Slate Creamery, and is hoping to hire a staff of up to 10 employees who are creative and will engage with kids in the store.
Sigler has long term plans for her new downtown building as well. Eventually, she and her husband plan to convert the second floor into a living space and become downtown residents above their ice cream shop.
Blank Slate Creamery is slated to open in June.
Source: Janice Sigler, Blank Slate Creamery
Writer: Natalie Burg