Growing up in Hallettsville, Texas, Anthony Sobotik said he spent his days picking dewberries on his grandparents’ farm, making ice cream with his siblings and enjoying meals dictated by the season’s flavors.
Chad Palmatier’s childhood in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, had him similarly anticipating the annual opening of the corn stand and melon season.
So when the pair opened Lick Honest Ice Creams in Austin in 2011, they wanted to honor their rural roots by strictly using ingredients and flavors offered by local farms and food artisans and rotating them based on seasonal availability: a farmer’s market ice cream shop.
The result: a flavor portfolio that ranges from unique—with offerings such as dewberry corn cobbler, roasted beets with fresh mint, and roasted mesquite bean cookie—to the more traditional, such as milk chocolate, coffee with cream and Texas sheet cake.
“Every fruit, nut, vegetable and herb is sourced locally from small, independently-owned farms; we make everything else in-house, no exceptions,” Sobotik said.
Sobotik, who has a culinary background and heads flavor research, aims to elicit aspects of his Texas childhood in each creamy creation.
“That’s what we try to do here; every two months it’s something new, and that’s exciting,” Palmatier said. “We end up really enforcing the seasons. Because of the Texas climate people think everything is in season all the time, but it’s not.”
Not every flavor hits nor hits right away; however, Sobotik and Palmatier said that is part of the fun. Their fall specialty, persimmon and sage, took three years to take off with customers, they said.
Lick has three shops in Austin and one in San Antonio, but Palmatier said they are looking for more space to grow. Pints are available at Central Market, Wheatsville Co-op, Whole Foods and Fresh Plus and will soon be offered in select H-E-Bs.
At its heart Lick is a Texas experience, Sobotik said.
“Our commitment to local farms is that fact that my grandparents were ranchers and farmers, and I know how hard that work is and how dedicated you have to be,” Sobotik said. “Aside from culinary satisfaction it’s amazing to put those memories and experiences into ice cream.”
Lick Honest Ice Creams
A. 6555 Burnet Road, 512-609-8029
B. 1100 South Lamar Blvd., 512-363-5622
C. 1905 Aldrich St. , 512-502-5949