The scoop on Rhea’s Ice Cream

By: 

Special to the Star
Owner Rhea Ortamond serves a cone March 25 at Rhea's Ice Cream. Andres Rodriguez

Summer is approaching, and few things provide more relief from the heat than ice cream.

Rhea Ortamond created Rhea’s Ice Cream in 2010.

Ortamond said she always enjoyed making ice cream, and the opportunity to turn it into a career began when she acquired extra space to live. She turned her small area into a shop in order to ease rent concerns.

She said her mother taught her to create unique flavors.

“I am always experimenting,” Ortamond said. “It’s cool to see people appreciate what you’re making.”

 She creates the majority of her own recipes, flavors and hand-made waffle cones.

Tom and Summer Hoff, visitors from Austin, said they were delighted by the strong variety of flavors.

“There is an interesting ambiance of choices,” Tom said.  “The Big Red is not too sweet.”

Summer said her personal favorite was the goat cheese flavor.

Ortamond said the shop features a new flavor on the first of each month. Her personal favorite, so far, is caramel sea salt.

Ortamond interacts with her customers by accepting flavor suggestions using the Rhea’s Month Box. A customer randomly selected from the box is put on the shop’s wall of fame and gets free ice cream,.

Lindsay Adair, former employee, said Ortamond allows her employees to create their own flavors. She developed a friendship with her former boss.

“Rhea has been my friend for 15 years,” Adair said. “I enjoy helping her out with her business.”

Rhea’s Ice Cream is open year-round, no matter the temperature. Customers visit from a variety of areas.

“People like to eat ice cream during the winter too,” Ortamond said.  “There are a lot of out-of-towners.”

Follow Louis Zylka on Twitter at @OrinZylka