When your grandfather is the founder of Joy Cone, the largest ice cream cone company in the world, it’s a safe bet you know a thing or two about ice cream. Kirsten Mestancik grew up down the street from her family’s cone factory in Hermitage, PA, where she would visit weekly and enjoy an ice cream cone.
Seeing a need for the health-conscious ice cream consumer, newlyweds Kirsten and Zak Mestancik opened D’Lites Shoppe in May 2015. Located in Lakewood Ranch’s San Marco Plaza, D’Lites is much more than an ice cream shop.
“We try to cater to everyone in the health realm,” says Kirsten. “If someone walks into the store and wants local, organic, we have that.” Kirsten and Zak partner with several local businesses to maximize the healthy options at D’Lites.
They introduced D’Lites Artisan Ice Cream, made with local milk and cream from Dakin Dairy. “Our new Artisan Vanilla is amazing,” says Kirsten. This is the latest addition, joining the likes of low-calorie D’Lites Soft Serve Ice Cream and LUV Vegan Nice Cream—made in house with LUV sugar replacement and coconut milk. Having struggled with food allergies, Kirsten understands this genre.
“It makes my day when a kid comes in who can’t have gluten, sugar or dairy and they have their first ice cream cone ever. That just warms my heart.”
With their team, Kirsten and Zak have built D’Lites into an exciting community presence. “We love to support our community,” Kirsten says. D’Lites Shoppe is a strong proponent in events like the American Diabetes Association’s Southwest Florida Tour de Cure and Doggies 4 Duchenne, which benefits the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch and Another Day for Gray charities. And for the little ones, making her appearances twice a month with complimentary cones and crafts is new mascot, Daisy D’Lites.
D’Lites partners with local purveyors like Java Dawg Coffee to spike the interest of the community, from students to anyone into cool coffee shop vibes. Also serving Bulletproof Coffee, made with organic grass-fed butter and Brain Octane Oil, which is derived from natural coconut oil. D’Lites serves protein shakes, smoothies and a variety of healthful snacks customized toward any specific diet. While there you can pick up local honey from Sarasota Honey Company or even one of Canopy Roads Market’s raw desserts.
Talk about commitment: On their wedding day, says Kirsten, “Instead of giving each other cake we just had ice cream and fed each other ice cream.” When someone is passionate, it shows. D’Lites Shoppe shows us a healthier alternative to our favorite Florida summertime treats.
► D’Lites Shoppe: 8209 Natures Way, Ste 107; Lakewood Ranch; 941-362-2006; dlitesshoppe.com