The Nye’s Cream Story


Ice cream sandwiches were the furthest thing from my mind when I met Christian just before my senior year of high school in Pensacola, Florida. But even then I enjoyed a good meal, and quickly discovered that Christian has a talent for all things culinary. Sharpening his skills at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Christian graduated in 1996 and moved to Austin, Texas, where I was finishing up law school. There he began building his resume: working in upscale restaurants, as the executive chef of a large catering company, and later as a private chef. Like many young couples, we spent the early years of marriage joining the rat race in search of….what? I could never quite figure out what was at the top of that ladder.


In 2002, our work-obsessed lives hit a wall when our oldest son was born. I soon realized that my heart would not allow me to return to the office. Thankfully, I worked with a group of attorneys who supported my decision to work from home (or, quite often, my favorite coffee shop). A year or so later, we said goodbye to Austin and moved our little family to Wilmington, North Carolina—a quaint coastal town offering a slower pace and a 15-minute drive to the beach. Nine months later, our youngest son made his appearance. While I continued to work from home, Christian was still logging long hours as the executive chef of a hotel on the beach and later at a country club. After years of Christian missing family dinners, T-ball games and school programs, it became painfully obvious that things had to change. But how?


Opening a restaurant was a life-long ambition for Christian, and suddenly the timing seemed right. We were determined to make this a family affair, and found what seemed like the perfect spot for our neighborhood café. Nearly an acre of land with established gardens would allow the boys to run and (even better) learn to grow something! Determined to turn this fantasy into a reality, I set to work on a business plan and Christian began dreaming up the menu. Sure enough, a handmade ice cream sandwich found its way onto the dessert menu. While we both felt this was a great addition to the menu, we never really imagined the possibilities until….


Our youngest son turned six in May of 2010 when recipe development for the restaurant was in full swing. We decided to taste-test the ice cream sandwiches on a room full of Kindergartners for his birthday celebration. Turns out they were a big hit, and not just with the kids! That afternoon, we sat on the brightly colored alphabet carpet with sweet Ms. Jane (our son’s teacher and one of our biggest supporters) and the dream took root. Why not bring back the classic ice cream sandwich—only better? Christian got to work in our kitchen, and the boys and I spent the summer eating ice cream and cookies. It seems we weren’t the only ones who loved this delicious combination, because all of the sudden, Christian was making hundreds of sandwiches every week trying to keep up with the orders.


So, now you know the humble beginnings of Nye’s Cream Sandwiches. We have been lucky enough to have some pretty amazing family members who have supported us along the way. Although we’re unsure of where this adventure will take us, Christian and I are thankful that God has brought us this far. And with a last name like Nye, we figure this thing was meant to be.