Lee Ellis doesn't sit still for long. Since departing from F.E.E.D. TX to launch Cherry Pie Hospitality, Ellis has already converted Pour Society into Texas comfort food restaurant State Fare and partnered with Pi Pizza to give the popular food truck a brick-and-mortar home, but he's not remotely close to done.
This week, Ellis launched his latest venture, an ice cream company called Lee's Creamery. Already, four flavors are available at Lee's Fried Chicken and Donuts in the Heights — either as scoops or, for those who are feeling particularly decadent, as a doughnut sandwich. By the end of the week, Ellis plans to install a dipping case at Petite Sweets that will offer 12 more flavors and freshly made cones. Eventually, Lee's Creamery will have a dedicated space of its own.
"I was involved with Neal’s Ice Cream when it was here, and I’ve just always wanted to do this," Ellis tells CultureMap. "That’s why I’m doing it. Ice cream is my go-to dessert. I could get myself in a lot of trouble. I’m so tempted to have five liter pails in my freezer."
Ellis worked with a local ice cream maker to develop a base that utilizes milk from grass-fed Jersey cows from Gramen Farms in Tomball and cage-free Texas hen eggs. Fruit flavors have real fruit blended into the mix, and cake or cookie flavors have those ingredients added. For example, the strawberry cheesecake flavor has graham crackers added for the proper "crust."
For now, Lee's Fried Chicken offers strawberry cheesecake, Mexican chocolate, peaches and cream, and double vanilla bean, but Lee's Creamery's roster of 50 flavors will ultimately include lemon-blueberry, sweet cream corn, bourbon bacon marmalade, Nutella rocky road, and more.
Of course, Ellis still has other irons in the fire. Pi Pizza should open in the next few weeks, and Cherry Pie still hasn't announced what its plans are for the former home of Bradley's Fine Diner. Whatever they are, diners will be watching.