For many people, 2020 was the year of hobbies. All that time spent in terrifying isolation meant an opportunity to discover activities that evoked joy. While some started learning a language, crocheting, reading more, or finally finishing that house project, Dennine Dyer went into the kitchen.
Just before the pandemic hit her everyday life, Dyer was feeling at the top of her career as a stylist in the fashion industry. “Everything I ever worked on disappeared and I needed a creative outlet. I decided to put that time into my family and from there I discovered a love for cooking,” says Dyer. Dyer had never been the best cook in her family, but with a positive attitude and some spare time she preferred to experiment – and it led her to something sweet.
“The first time I made ice cream, I had no idea what I was doing. I asked my mom to borrow her Ninja machine. I put all the ingredients together with ice and the whole machine exploded because you can’t put ice in a Ninja,” she recalls with a laugh. Nevertheless, the leftovers were good enough to go to the table with. After weeks of taste testing and eventual family approvals, the new chef realized she had landed on something special with ice cream. In September 2020, Dyer took a leap of faith and officially opened Solo Scoops Creamery in Brooklyn, New York.
For the menu, she takes inspiration from her love of solo travel (hence the name), giving each customer a taste of where she’s been. Dyer has created over 60 flavors. A favorite is soursop, a nod to Dyer’s Caribbean heritage. Biscuit butter is inspired by the biscuits of Belgium. Watermelon basil aims to evoke the Hamptons, while a lavender-peach sorbet has a connection to Dyer’s time in France.
Dyer creates a visual identity for every new taste. “Combining the visual experience as a wardrobe stylist is so important to me. I treat our shoots as full campaigns to [capture] the inspiration behind it,” she says.