Build-Outs Of Summer: Little Lion Ice Cream In Wichita, KS

I scream, you scream, we all scream for more Build-Outs of Summer! And in this case, also ice cream. Our next stop takes us to Wichita, Kansas—a town for which we are very familiar, albeit hazily—to visit with the brand new Little Lion Ice Cream. Making a name for itself via some very tasty handmade sweet treats, the downtown Wichita parlor is not skimping on the coffee. Featuring Madcap Coffee, a La Marzocco Linea, Mahlkönig grinders, and Curtis brewers aplenty, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a coffee shop that also served ice cream and not vice versa.

Coffee and ice cream, is there a more perfect pair in the summer time?

As told to Sprudge by Ian Miller.

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

We’re all about connecting with people and providing experiences that facilitate connection. We source our ingredients intentionally, and seek out likeminded growers and suppliers to establish a community of folks who are working together to create the kind of world we want to live in.

We started two years ago with one cart, serving made-from-scratch ice cream at local markets and anywhere else people would have us. We’ve since expanded to two carts and a temporary pop-up inside another local coffee shop, Espresso to Go Go, where we serve waffle sundaes and breakfast burritos, in addition to our ice cream.

Can you tell us a bit about the new space?

Oh, it’s going to be awesome. We’re fortunate to be a part of the new Revolutsia shipping container development (a first in Wichita) that will be opening this summer. Our building is an adorable pre-existing stone cottage that is being integrated into the face of the development. It features stone floors and a sweeping ceiling with a large fireplace and a cozy loft.

Revolutsia is a mixed-use development on an up-and-coming stretch of Central Ave., a main thoroughfare in Wichita. We’ll be joined by a couple of restaurants, several retail concepts, a salon, and more. The containers and our building surround a common outdoor courtyard area that will, much like a historic town square, be a great place for people to gather.

What’s your approach to coffee?

Accessible and balanced. Straight-forward and free of pretense. Fun and serious. We are passionate about making the best cup of coffee possible, but we don’t want to impose all the behind the scenes work we do to make the coffee delicious on the customer. We’ll have solid options for people who just want a tasty cup of coffee and a curated menu of sweeter options for the crowd who likes their flavored beverages. We are trying to be serious about coffee without taking ourselves to seriously. Jubilee, a co-owner, is originally from Grand Rapids and our first introduction to specialty coffee was at Madcap back in 2009. We’ll be using them for all of our coffee offerings because they roast delicious coffee and are pioneers in relational sourcing.

Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?

Our equipment has been selected to make consistently delicious coffee as quickly and effortlessly as possible. A La Marzocco Linea PB ABR will be fed by a Mahlkönig Peak and a Puqpress. An EK43 will service both single origin espresso and drip options. Batch brew will come from a Curtis G4 and we’ll offer rotating by-the-cup options brewed by a Curtis Gold Cup.

What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?

Our builder has promised that we’ll be open for National Ice Cream Day, which is on July 15.

Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?

Jubilee has spearheaded our design aesthetic, with lots of help from Shelden Architecture and Farha Construction.

Thank you!

Thank you for being an invaluable resource to the coffee community.

The Build-Outs Of Summer is an annual series on Sprudge. Live the thrill of the build all summer long in our Build-Outs feature hub.

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