Tucked inside the breezeway of the Colonnades Plaza on South Beach is an old-fashioned ice cream shop that serves hand-crafted ice cream and Italian ice that tastes generations away from the commercial brands more commonly served by retailers. Cream Republic is a step back in time with a beachy chic, farmhouse décor, friendly proprietors and homemade ice cream churned daily on Hutchinson Island.
Owner Amanda Beville is a Fort Pierce native who grew up riding horses and raising farm animals west of town and loving every trip she made to the beach and beautiful Intracoastal. She knew she wasn’t the only one who yearned for an authentic taste of yesteryear in a time when the community was constantly moving forward.
So after moving back home, she set about creating a local space inspired by Old Florida nostalgia that would give a memorable experience with an exceptional product and great customer service. Beville had enjoyed a successful full-time career as a sales representative for a building supply company but always wanted something more. After living out of state for a while and climbing the corporate ladder, she returned to her hometown and started looking for the right opportunity.
“My mind is constantly creating, developing new ideas, concepts and experiences,” Beville said enthusiastically. “After all these years, there still wasn’t an ice cream shop on the island, and I seized the opportunity to create my own brand. I wanted something purposeful and original, done right and with ice cream the way people remembered it.”
Knowing nothing about making ice cream, Beville started researching it on the internet, watching how-to videos on YouTube and visiting ice cream shops everywhere she went. She even took her father and attended an ice cream school where she learned how to operate a batch freezer and combine ingredients and flavorings.
After purchasing a batch freezer and setting it up in her garage, she began experimenting, with help from family and friends who inspired and tasted all her signature flavors. At the same time, she was renovating an old space she found on the island. The plaza has a lovely breezeway for patrons who want to sit outside and smell the fresh ocean air, while enjoying their frozen treat. Inside, she transformed the empty space to include a cozy sitting area with an inviting modern yet nostalgic decor and old Florida photos and signage.
“When someone comes into the store they don’t see big glass display cases with five-gallon containers of open ice cream,” she explained. “Instead, we have our daily and special flavors written on chalk boards with a friendly face behind the counter to answer any questions and offer a taste test. All our ice cream and Italian ices are made in small batches daily and stored in sealed gallon containers to ensure maximum freshness. They may not see the ice cream, but they definitely taste the difference.”
Everything served at Cream Republic is as natural and local as possible. She uses fresh Florida cream, unpasteurized local citrus and raw local honey so there is no need to outsource those ingredients. By utilizing local suppliers, she is supporting the community she loves and makes every effort to keep all her packaging and serving containers as eco-friendly as possible.
Beville loves to be inspired by customers to create something new and has even launched her own brand of boozy ice creams — a blend of ice cream or Italian ice and favorite liquors. Boozy flavors can only be served to customers 21 and older. Special flavors are concocted for the holidays like Eggnog, Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Bark for the Christmas season; Carrot Cake ice cream for Easter; and anytime Italian ice specialties like Soursop Margarita, Tropical Trio and Rum Runner. Those are added to the mix of everyday favorites like, Cookie Butter, Banana Pudding, Nutty Coffee Crunch and Dulce Brownie Crunch.
“My sister,Telisa, and I took great pride in creating the brand you see today by taste as well as design,” Beville said. “We designed our logo as a mermaid, with an orange blossom in her hair serving ice cream in a conch shell. Behind her are rays of sun indicative of the Sunrise City, as Fort Pierce is affectionately called, and our slogan is the Sweetest Spot on South Beach. Everything is tied in with the town I call home, and I would never have been able to open this store without the support of my family, friends and loved ones … including my late basset hound, Dixie Dumplin.”
Lives in: Fort Pierce
Education: Indian River State College, Florida Atlantic University and the Living Food Institute in Atlanta
Hobbies: Creating experiences, being outside by the water, and boating
What inspires you?: “Inspiration and motivation are everywhere and constantly changing. I’m inspired to harness those feelings and create something meaningful.”
Something people don’t know about you: “I was born in a car and delivered by my father.”