Boom Town Creamery rocks fresh, creative ice cream from scratch.
Angela Muir opened Boom Town Creamery at 605 NW 23rd St. in Uptown 23rd shortly after her family relocated to OKC from Kansas City. The Nashville native used to spend weekends visiting the nationally known Betty Rae’s Ice Cream while in KC, so she hoped to find something comparable when the family arrived in the 405.
“We tried all the ice cream we could find when we got here and found nothing we really wanted,” Muir said. “Betty Rae’s was all handmade ice cream: seasonal, delicious, creative. I missed it, and I couldn’t shake the idea that I should start something.”
Boom Town opened in June 2022 using recipes Muir had created after participating in a workshop in New York City. “Malcolm Stogo, creator of cookies and cream ice cream, was the instructor,” she said, “so I got to spend two full days in a test kitchen with him perfecting recipes and techniques.”
The idea behind Boom Town is to create flavors and combinations that rely on fresh ingredients from what is essentially a scratch kitchen. Chef Kayli Bartnicki oversees that kitchen and brings a pastry chef’s sensibility to the task.
“I was out of food when Angela called me,” said Bartnicki, a Platt College graduate. “I was teaching barbering, but what she suggested sounded appealing. My first plan was art school, but I didn’t want to spend money on it, so Boom Town gave me the chance to be creative again.”
To make great ice cream with fresh ingredients is not as simple as it would seem. Sure, if you’re just using fresh fruit and cream, that would be pretty straightforward, but what if you wanted fresh herbs, balsamic vinegar, crunchy cookies or hundreds of other flavors and textures that make ice cream much more interesting? That’s where the chef comes in, and Muir said she decided to bring Bartnicki on for two reasons: “I needed to run the business, and I had really reached the limit of my knowledge and ability.”
Boom Town’s kitchen doesn’t rely on extracts or flavorings. Instead, Bartnicki applies the principles she learned as a pastry chef to turn fresh ingredients into masterful flavor combinations. London Fog for example, utilizes the shop’s base vanilla ice cream, steeped in Earl Grey tea, and then crumbled up short-bread is added for texture and flavor. The mash-up with Prairie Artisan Ales is another example of Bartnicki’s commitment to craft, as its beer Bomb! is reduced for 12 hours before it’s ready to become an ice cream base. This is meticulous cheffing with amazing attention to detail.
The collaborations are a point of pride and emphasis for Muir. She wants to be a good neighbor and get other local businesses additional exposure. Boom Town has worked with Harvey Bakery, rapper Jabee, WanderFolk Spirits and Miller Pecans, and in every case, Muir and Bartnicki sit down with their collaborative partners and work through possible flavors, colors and textures. Muir said she’s still wanting to work with Mayor David Holt and the Oklahoma City Thunder. No word yet on what those flavors might be, but Muir and Bartnicki are sure to strike imaginative and no-holds-barred creations.
Earlier this year, the owners of Dolce Paradiso approached Muir about acquiring their two stores: Edmond and South OKC. Muir already had a plan for growth in place, but the opportunity was too good to pass up. The two locations were essentially turnkey operations, but to handle the increase in volume, she is also adding a full commercial kitchen in a separate location.
“The goal is six locations ultimately, but I’m not in a hurry to expand,” Muir said. Still, the ice cream shop’s boom is coming, if it isn’t already here.