Sweet Republic Churns Out Scrumptious Selections of Handcrafted Ice Cream
Helen Yung and Jan Wichayanuparp were both international investment bankers when they met in 2001 while in New York for a company training program. It was there that they realized they had a mutual passion, food. Soon, making reservations at different restaurants to try new cuisine became a favorite hobby of theirs.
Yung was born and raised in Hong Kong and went to high school in America. As an investment banker, she worked in London and Tokyo, which allowed her to travel and sample food geographically, causing her desire to do something with food to grow. Wichayanuparp was born in Bangkok and also traveled to a variety of countries where she experienced different cultures and cuisines.
In 2002, Yung left banking to attend Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Sydney, Australia. The dynamic duo kept in touch the whole time, and eight years ago, with no restaurant experience, they opened their first artisan ice cream shop in Scottsdale.
“Why ice cream? Because it is fun to make, it can be made in advance and there’s no waste,” explains Yung. “Everyone leaves with a smile.”
All recipes are original and contain locally-sourced products. The 20-plus flavors rotate daily and include favorites like Salted Butter Caramel Swirl, Fleur de Sel Caramel, Almond Buttercrunch, Rocky Road, Honey Lavender and Brownie Swirl. The Peaberry Expresso flavor is made from Peaberry-roasted beans supplied by Café Cortez Coffee Company in Tempe. A different flavor to try is the Sweet Corn, made with locally-grown corn. Yep, it actually tastes like sweet corn! The vanilla is made using Madagascar vanilla bean, the finest bean grown, with a hint of floral and a pure, creamy texture. The dairy-free sorbets are made with fresh fruit, giving them a wonderful, distinct flavor. Some choices include Coconut, Strawberry, Basil Lime and Peach, which comes from Schnepf Farms.
“When you’re tasting us, you’re tasting Arizona,” says Wichayanuparp, a proclaimed ice cream fanatic.
Fresh and Homemade
To try all the stellar homemade toppings, I ordered one of their seven tantalizing sundaes, the Ultimate Sweet R Sundae. It includes four scoops of Madagascar Vanilla and Belgian Chocolate, and is served on a ¼ lb. Chocolate Chip Walnut Oatmeal Cookie and topped with brownie crumbs, almond toffee brittle, hot fudge, salted caramel sauce, whipped cream and roasted marshmallow. It’s definitely enough for the whole family!
There are also five yummy milkshakes to choose from, including the Triple Chocolate Shake, the Classic Vanilla Malt, the Salted Caramel shake, the Java Jolt made with the Peaberry Expresso and the Original Shake, which includes your choice of ice cream. Also available are ice cream sandwiches.
Whether you choose a crisp homemade waffle cone or waffle bowl to hold your selection, I ask you this summer to take my Two Scoop Challenge, and on each visit try a new flavor alongside your favorite. You might be surprised to find some new favorites!
6054 N. 16th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85016