The Famished Foodie twists and churns cereal and ice cream at the newest dessert bar in OC
IT WAS a beautiful Ocean City Sunday evening with a light breeze and a sky blazing ten shades of purple. Sunsets like this are one of the things that make this island special. Ice cream also makes this island special.
And we needed ice cream. Needing ice cream is such an Ocean City problem, but I know you feel me.
So we headed for a new spot at the corner of 32nd and Asbury; Churn Ice Cream and Cereal Bar at 3255 Asbury Avenue. Churn takes ice cream and infuses it with your favorite cereal. I mean, what more could you want? Cereal and ice cream together? Yes please.
“I used to eat six bowls of cereal every morning as a kid,” said owner Cory Raab, a local guy with an entrepreneurial spirit and a taste for dessert. “I’ve always loved ice cream and I’ve always loved cereal.”
Churn is not your typical ice cream place. I mean there’s ice cream, but they use special machines and infuse it with cereal. Then they top it with more cereal (or cookies or whatever) and then drizzle sauce on it. It’s a scene.
“This is awesome. It’s like someone transported me back to the front of my TV as a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons eating cereal – that’s what it felt like,” said Invisible Woman as she wound her head around to the other side of her quickly shrinking cone.
It’s a simple process at Churn; choose from a cone, cup, or shake. Then choose your ice cream flavor; there’s vanilla, chocolate, vanilla/ chocolate twist, and vegan vanilla. Then choose one or two cereals to churn in; all the biggies are available including Lucky Charms (a fave of Invisible Woman), Fruit Loops, and Apple Jacks. Then add more toppings, pick a drizzle, and let yourself slip into Churn mode.
“I went with the old-school cereals. These were forbidden in my house, my mom wouldn’t buy them, so I went for it now when I had the chance,” said I.W.
We got to chat with Cory on his second day of business.
“I always wanted to start my own business,” said Cory. “One day I came across these mixing machines – these augers – that were actually developed in the ’80s. It’s interesting because this building in the ’80s was “Do Yourself a Flavor” and used similar machines to mix stuff into their ice cream. So I thought that was cool. And really what’s better than cereal and ice cream. Normally you add milk so adding ice cream is even better.”
The Fantastic Four rolled out for this mission; It was I, Mr. Fantastic, along with the always fabulous Invisible Woman, the brooding but beautiful Thing, and the ever-majestic Human Torch. We tend to bring the crazy on these missions as we roll in buying ice cream, taking photos, and causing a stir.
“I think this is pretty good,” said the Torch who churned Cookie Crisp and Oreo cereal into his shake followed by crushed Oreos on top and a drizzle of marshmallow sauce. “I like the cereal blended into the ice cream – that’s a pretty good idea. Pretty original idea too.”
I opted for a bowl – I usually get the cone – and I was pleasantly surprised. The ice cream retained its smooth feel with just a hint of texture. The ingredients were fresh and flavorful. And I went with only one cereal – sometimes less is more and I didn’t want to mix it up too much – this is a delicate balance this cereal ice cream thing. Then of course Oreos. And chocolate sauce. This is right up my alley.
Invisible Woman opted for the Lucky Charms and Cookie Crisp churn in a charming waffle cone with Lucky Charms marshmallow toppings and a marshmallow drizzle.
“We’ve had great feedback so far saying how great it tastes,” said Cory. “People really like how it gives the ice cream a different texture and a different crunch. Many of our menu names are inspired by things close to me. So our Surfer Joe special is named after my dad Scott – his stage name with the Tidal Wave Band was Surfer Joe and his favorite combo includes Special K. The Special K doesn’t change the flavor but adds a nice crunch. Then top it off with Heath bars, mini pretzels and chocolate sauce and a little surfboard on the side.”
It became a beautiful night so we wandered outside and had a seat in the lovely outdoor sitting area. Cory created a nice space with soft grass and clean tables for sitting and enjoying your Churn. We said hello to a couple people we knew and enjoyed some delicious ice cream. It was a lot of fun. – photos by OC Mag and Churn House
Find this story and more in our July magazine.