Tavia Kowalchuk really likes ice cream.
The 18-year Sunnyside resident started reading about how to make a perfect batch of the frozen concoction 10 years ago as a way to cut costs. She found out that it wasn’t much cheaper to make her own ice cream, but it was more fun.
Kowalchuk, who works as a book marketer, founded Bliss Street Creamery in March and began selling her batches at food markets like Queens Night Market and at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City and Sunnyside Gardens Park.
“It’s something that lived in my imagination for a long time but finally came to the public this summer,” she said. “I was making ice cream as a sort of passion project at home and I’d share it with friends and family.”
Kowalchuk uses local and organic ingredients to makes her small-batch, handcrafted ice cream at a shared commercial kitchen. Bliss Street Creamery’s most popular flavor, Pink Peppercorn, is a roasted and pureed strawberry base with ground pink peppercorn for a “fruity and crunchy” taste.
The Blueberry Buffalo, a blueberry puree, is made with a special ingredient Kowalchuk purchases at the Sunnyside Green Market. Buffalo milk ricotta cheese from the Riverine Ranch in New Jersey produces a flavor that she describes as “a cheese plate after fancy dinner but sweeter.”
“I’m using the freshest ingredients, I’m turning over the product quickly and I’m really taking advantage of seasonal ingredients that are ripe in the moment,” she said.
In addition to her pints, which cost $12 and can be purchased through her website, Kowalchuk also makes custom flavor ice creams. For her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, she created a marzipan bitter chocolate swirl ice cream that was also popular at the Queens Night Market.
“[The response has] been positive,” she said. “People that meet me at events have overwhelmingly said we need an ice cream shop in Sunnyside and they’ve really enjoyed what they ordered.”
Eventually, Kowalchuk wants to open a shop in Sunnyside where she is “looking to make a lot of flavors that are inspired by the people who live in my neighborhood.”
She’d like to partner with local coffee roasters, brewers or bakers to incorporate their “signature products” into her ice cream. Kowalchuk has already started looking for a storefront and would like to be based in Sunnyside.
“I want to be a Queens brand and I really would love to serve the Sunnyside community,” she said. “This community has given so much to me and I would like to give in a bigger way by having this ice cream shop.”
To order pints of ice cream from Bliss Street Creamery, visit the website.