This isn't just any ordinary scoop-and-go kind of ice cream shop, though. The new Little Man takes up 6,000 square feet that's part industrial production facility and part Wonka-esque wonderland where guests can indulge in ice cream, sorbet, shakes, malts, sundaes and ice cream sandwiches. Buckets of ice cream are delivered on overhead conveyor belts from the kitchen to a "flight deck" where customers can order from a frequently changing menu.
So experiences are built into the interior design, including elements intended to evoke the feeling of being inside a giant ice cream churn, while real ice cream — up to 7,000 gallons a week — churns in high-tech equipment on view through windows overlooking the production kitchen. The factory also houses a bakery where ice cream ingredients are made and special plated desserts and novelties for visitors are prepared. Look through towering plate-glass windows to see pastry chefs baking carrot cake, making brittles and plating fancy ice cream-based desserts. There's even a vintage copper candy kettle from the original Jolly Rancher factory in Wheat Ridge.
Much of the design focuses on the craftsmanship of electricians, masons, plumbers and other skilled professionals, Schultz adds, so nearly every surface includes striking and beautiful elements that stand out above and beyond mere utility.
The Little Man Ice Cream Factory is holding its grand-opening celebration today from noon to 10 p.m., complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a special tour for twenty winners selected from visitors who come dressed as ice cream factory workers (creativity is encouraged), welcoming words from Tamburello and Schultz, a crowd countdown to the first scoop "launched," and live music. To make sure you're entered into the prize drawing, dress up and then nab a Golden Ticket when you enter.
After today, the tasting room will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m to 9 p.m. Sunday. Visit the Little Man Ice Cream website for more grand-opening details.