Isaac Hendry (left) and Joel Nachtigal (right) decided to meet Carbondale's craving for locally-made ice cream. Photo by Raleigh Burleigh

Ice cream lovers rejoice! Carbondale once again has a dedicated ice cream bar and it’s open late on weekends. Sweet Cream Dreams is the creation of two relative newcomers to Carbondale, best friends turned business partners.

Growing up in Springfield, Missouri, Isaac Hendry and Joel Nachtigal enjoyed a childhood typical of the ‘90s: neighborhood basketball games, skateboarding, invented trampoline sports and, we presume, a hearty intake of ice cream. Even after Nachtigal moved to Colorado before high school, the two stayed in touch, a testament to their friendship.

Fast forward to 2021, Hendry’s career as a professional chef landed him at the Snowmass Club, a nearby, high-end vacation retreat. Although he enjoyed aspects of the work, like making ice cream, he wasn’t feeling fully fulfilled.

With his first child on the way, Hendry called up Nachtigal, who was managing a hostel he opened in Granby, and together they put together a business plan to meet a common craving. “Joel has always had this entrepreneurial spirit,” said Hendry. “And he gave me encouragement.”

“We used to joke about starting a business together,” added Nachtigal. And here his friend had found himself in a town without an ice cream joint. “I didn’t know those existed still,” he laughed.

Sweet Cream Dreams makes use of each friend’s skills: Hendry’s knack for concocting recipes and Nachtigal’s marketing smarts. After a few pop-ups, the business began opening regularly on weekends in late May, serving artisanal, small-batch ice cream with a local ethic.

Ingredients like eggs and fruit are sourced from nearby farms and every week there are fresh flavors for customers to try, with some recurring staples like Hendry’s brown butter honey, already a fan favorite. There also promises to always be a vegan flavor for the lactose-reluctant.

In keeping with the concept, customers are invited to write their “dream” flavors on paper and drop them in a fishbowl on the counter. Already, several of these requests have been brought to fruition, including vegan coconut-coffee, raspberry sorbet and a gourmet “Superman” ice cream they called “Superwoman.” Inspired connoisseurs are also welcome to request flavors via Sweet Dream Cream’s Instagram account: @sweetcreamdreamsicecream

All of the flavor bases are cooked in Craft Coffeehouse’s kitchen, then chilled and spun. Thanks to the availability of Craft’s kitchen and side bar, these friends were able to self-fund the business’ launch, which has made it “low-risk, stress-free and fun,” said Nachtigal.

Sweet Cream Dreams is now open Thursday through Sunday from 4 to 10 p.m. at Craft Coffehouse’s side bar with access through the courtyard. Keep an ear out for open mic nights on the second and fourth Sunday of each month. The ice cream is also available at Mana Foods, the Redstone General Store and Skip’s Farm to Market.

Isaac Hendry (left) and Joel Nachtigal (right) have been fun-loving friends since childhood. Courtesy photo