Daniel “DJ” Colby, managing partner and chef of Wilton Creamery, didn’t expect to celebrate the local ice cream shop’s eighth birthday by tackling the costs of a broken freezer the day before Stonewall Pride.
Now, Colby is facing $6,758 in costs from inventory lost, repair parts and a new freezer as of June 21.
“I have no insurance that will cover that,” Colby said.
The broken freezer resulted in 10 flavors out of circulation including half of the store’s non-dairy ice cream and all of their no sugar added ice creams for diabetic people. Wilton Creamery also lost multiple toppings that are kept in the freezer like cookie dough, cheesecake and fruits.
Colby spent time collecting various hard-to-come-by fruits in hopes of turning them into ice creams once he stowed away enough of them. In specific, he lost all of his miracle fruit, which he spent the past two years plucking off its branches each week.
“So, that’s gone,” Colby said. “I only had like another three or four months where I could have made a sorbet out of miracle fruit.”
During Pride, Wilton Creamery ran out of “simple things like vanilla” because they did not have a freezer to store backups in. Plus, they had no dog ice cream for K-9 visitors.
“That was pretty sad,” Colby said. “You can’t explain to a dog that the freezer broke.”
June 15, at night, an employee forgot to close the freezer completely. The next morning, the freezer’s ice cream seemed softer than usual. Between the time it took for maintenance to get to the store, the ice cream hardened again.
What Colby took as “fine” was a block of ice going through the compressor — a quick fix for the broken freezer.
By that night before Pride in Wilton Manors, the ice cream started to soften again but not to the extent it did hours before. Colby assumed the ice cream would “firm up overnight.”
“We came in Friday morning and literally everything was melted. Because of Pride being the next day, everybody was having their recreations serviced so I called eight different companies to come out,” Colby said.
One company showed up at 6 p.m. and stayed for five hours trying to fix the freezer.
“He replaced every part he could think of,” Colby said.
Wilton Creamery is currently waiting on capillary coils to get delivered — the final part that may fix the machine.
“That’s the part that was broken and melted and he couldn’t replace it because he didn’t have it,” Colby said. “It never goes bad apparently."
Just in case the capillary coils don’t fix the machine, the store also bought a new freezer out of precaution.
“It basically wiped out our entire weekend,” Colby said. “It’s not ideal, but it’s the cost of doing business. Unfortunately, it just happened to happen at the worst possible time.”