Sweet Dreams Become a Reality for Santa Fe Newbie

It’s been almost a year since I first introduced Atlanta transplants Ryan Craig and Ryan VanderGiesen to the readers of this blog. At that time, they had recently moved into their new home in Eldorado and were looking forward to trying all the great restaurants in town.

A lot can happen in a year. After barely a year living in The Land of Enchantment, Ryan V has done what so many people who move to Santa Fe end up doing; he’s embarked on a second act. The corporate communications specialist has recently launched a new business, and it has nothing to do with corporate America. He’s in the artisanal ice cream business.

Last month, Ryan opened Hello Sweet Cream, a charming ice cream shop in the space formerly occupied by Jornada Chocolates at La Tienda in Eldorado. He launched the venture to create and serve innovative new flavors that harken back to his childhood in the Midwest.

A Family Tradition
“It’s a passion project,” Ryan said. But from what he told me, the venture is equal parts passion and genetics. In the 1960s, his grandparents owned a cafe in Kansas that made ice cream. That skill was passed on to his father, who owned a drug store with a soda fountain. The idea of developing a new and better brand of ice cream was actually an idea he had before moving to Atlanta. But the timing seemed right once he and his husband moved to New Mexico.

“When we moved to Eldorado, I was like, ‘It’s time, let’s do it!'” he said.

His original plan was to open an ice cream cart, but there were issues around the project being approved, including the possibility of getting turned down after he purchased the fancy cart. So, when the Jornada Chocolates space opened up, he jumped at the opportunity.

With Care & Craftsmanship
Of his product, Ryan says that he turns simple ingredients into something truly special. “I believe in the magic of ice cream. It has the incredible power to flip a bad day on its head, transform ordinary moments into cherished memories, and offer a sense of comfort that makes you feel like everything’s going to be all right,” VanderGiesen adds.

Ryan’s homemade flavors are crafted using a cold pan method to ensure unparalleled creaminess, density, and smoothness. This technique sets Hello Sweet Cream apart, offering a unique texture that cannot be found in machine-churned, mass-produced ice cream.

Every day, he offers six flavors, including the surprisingly popular Non-dairy Coffee Cold Brew, Gooey Butter Cake (he bakes the cakes included in the ice cream), and Blue Ribbon Chocolate, which he proudly says “contains no syrups and features three types of chocolate.” The rotating menu features creative offerings ensure there’s something for every palate. To add to the homemade approach, he’s got a waffle maker to make fresh baked waffle cones onsite.

“Customers say it feels like an ice cream parlor should feel,” he said.

Next Steps
Having just opened in April, Hello Sweet Cream is in its infancy but shows great promise. New Mexicans know a good thing when they see it. Ryan loves his repeat customers (and he’s got a lot already), with multi-generations stopping by, including families driving up from Santa Fe.

He’s thrilled by customers who share feedback, like one whose young daughter never finished an ice cream before eating at Hello Sweet Cream.

And you may often see his husband, the other Ryan, in the shop who stops by after work most days they’re open to help support. “I couldn’t have done this without him,” Ryan V said.

And here’s a scoop: He told me he’ll be selling pints soon.

Next time you stop by for an ice cream, mention this Gay Santa Fe blog article and get $1 off your purchase.

Hello Sweet Cream is located at 7 Caliente Road, Unit B2, Santa Fe, NM 87508. It’s open Wednesday through Friday from 1 to 7 p.m. and on weekends from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Get updates on changing flavors and events on Instagram @heysweetcream and Facebook at www.facebook.com/hellosweetcream. For those curious to learn more or to get in touch, visit www.hellosweetcream.com.