Kari Crowe-Seher was a professional photographer, with the bulk of her business coming from weddings. Occasionally, though, she would photograph food for Fort Worth publications, developing relationships with chefs and vendors along the way. Each summer, to no avail, Crowe-Seher and her husband wished that an artisanal ice-cream shop would open within walking distance of their home in the Fairmount district, in southern Fort Worth.
Last June, she decided to do it herself. Crowe-Seher drove across Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Arkansas, talking to small ice-cream shop owners and employees. “I learned that people who come to get ice cream are always happy,” Crowe-Seher says. She apprenticed for a week at Mason’s Creamery in Cleveland, Ohio, and returned to Fort Worth to make connections. “I like the idea of forming local partnerships and using local ingredients.”
Back home, Crowe-Seher took over a coffee shop, painted an outside wall lemon yellow, and opened Melt Ice Creams. There are always six flavors available, including one dairy-free option. “It’s been really rewarding to have families with children that are lactose intolerant,” Crowe-Seher says. “For some, it is the first time the whole family has gone out for ice cream together.”
Crowe-Seher works with Stir Crazy Baked Goods to make ice-cream sandwiches and brownie sundaes, and she rotates flavors monthly. She recently twisted a lemon blueberry jam made by Moore Jam into a batch of organic mint ice cream. The most unusual collaboration? “I made dark-chocolate sauce with Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s Iron Thistle ale,” she says. “Everybody loved it.” So it seems. Since opening in mid-April, Melt has gone from two to six employees.