Tired of driving across the bridge to Arlington for the creamy coconut ice cream or the sweet mango puree sorbet that Mimi’s Handmade offers? You’re in luck. The business is expanding to this side of the Potomac.
Owner and founder Rollin Amore, who lives in Chevy Chase in Washington, D.C., started Mimi’s Handmade after retiring from a career in finance. He says it was always his goal to have multiple shops and will be opening a second and third location in Rockville and Chevy Chase, Maryland this summer.
“I opened last year in December with the intention of opening up the chain of stores,” he said. “I’m 70, so I don’t have a lot of time, so I gotta do it quickly.”
The Rockville location will be Federal Plaza and is expected to open in August. The Chevy Chase location will be inside The Heights food hall and is expected to open later this month, according to the food hall’s website.
Amore has two daughters, Alexandra and Mimi. It was the youngest who the business is named after, which he said she loves.
Rather than relaxing and traveling as many do in their retirement, Amore said he needed to do something, leading to him starting his own ice cream business.
“I can’t just retire without anything to do,” he said. “So, I retired, and I started this to keep me busy. I love this business because everyone’s happy; the customers are happy, the employees are happy, the owner’s happy.”
Amore said he is most proud of the authenticity of his ice cream flavors, which he credits for the business’s progress.
“My strategy is to make ice cream with–I don’t use flavorings, I use ingredients to get my flavor,” he said. “My butterscotch, I’ll make real butterscotch, or my salted caramel, real caramel, et cetera, et cetera. That’s my business strategy, it’s worked out very well. We’ve had a very good year and that gives me the confidence to go forward and open up other stores.”
It takes a day for Amore to produce one of his flavors, he said.
As the two upcoming locations are expected this summer, some seasonal sweet menu options patrons can expect are mango ice cream; passion fruit ice cream; a sweet, creamy corn custard; and various sorbet flavors.
“I basically create ice creams by inspiration,” he said. “I go to a store, and something catches my eye, or my nose and I think about how to make an ice cream.”