In 2011, Florida couple Brian and Courtney Heinz sold their home, quit their corporate jobs, bought an RV on Craigslist and set out to find the right city for their family’s next new adventure.
“I just decided life was too short to not have fun,” Courtney said.
For years Courtney had been a fan of an ice cream brand called D’Lites
—a no-sugar-added soft-serve formulation boasting a mere 50 calories per serving—and decided she wanted to open her own shop, she said.
After they arrived in Southwest Austin, Courtney and Brian elected to cut the rest of their trip short.
D’Lites of Austin opened in August 2012 on William Cannon Drive as an independent business using the D’Lites license, Brian said, noting it is not a franchise.
Customers can come in, order a cone and sit down or purchase containers of their favorite flavors to take home.
The business also functions as a grocery store that offers low-sugar, low-carbohydrate items, such as cookies, pizzas, pasta and rolls, for sale. Popular grocery products include Walden Farms salad dressings, WiO SmartRolls and Great Low Carb Bread Co. bagels, Brian said.
In addition to offering classic vanilla and chocolate ice cream, the shop swaps in four new flavors daily. Options include salted caramel, Andes Mint and seasonal options such as pumpkin eggnog. Daily flavors are posted on the company’s website each week.
Cones and cups with candy toppings as well as sundaes, ice cream cakes and shakes are part of the product mix.
“I love that you can eat it every day and not feel guilty,” Courtney said.
D’Lites of Austin’s ice cream is made with fat-free milk and extracts that are water-based, said the store’s co-owner Brian Heinz. Customers get the creaminess and flavor of ice cream without the added sugar or artificial sweeteners, he said.
In addition to being low-carb and low-sugar, it is gluten-free, kosher certified and low-calorie, he said. It is not frozen yogurt because it does not contain live cultures.
The shop caters to Weight Watchers, Ideal Protein and Atkins diets as well as bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, diabetics and parents who want to treat kids without extra sugar, he said.