For many people, 2020 was the year of hobbies. All that time spent in daunting isolation meant a chance to explore activities that sparked joy. While some took to learning a language, crocheting, reading more, or finally finishing that house project, Dennine Dyer took to the kitchen.
Just before the pandemic made its way into everyday life, Dyer felt at the top of her career working as a stylist in the fashion industry. “Everything I’ve ever worked on went away and I needed a creative outlet. I decided to pour that time into my family and from there I discovered a love for cooking,” says Dyer. Dyer had never been her family’s best cook, but with a positive attitude and some time on her hands, she prioritized experimentation—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’re not supposed to put ice in a Ninja,” she recalls with a laugh. Nevertheless, the remains were good enough to take to the table. 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 based in Brooklyn, New York.
For the menu, she draws inspiration from her love of solo travel (hence the name), offering each customer a small taste of where she’s been. Dyer has made over 60 flavors. A favorite is soursop, a nod to Dyer’s Caribbean heritage. Cookie 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 each new flavor. “Combining the visual experience as a wardrobe stylist is so important to me. I treat our shoots like full campaigns to [capture] the inspiration behind them,” she says.