Friday, June 12, 2020
Checking in on Mikey Likes It
Text and photos by Stacie Joy
Mikey Likes It recently reopened at 199 Avenue A between 12th Street and 13th Street after the COVID-19 PAUSE.
I stopped by to talk with owner Mikey Cole about his 6-year-old ice cream shop and love for the community.
"The time we're in is heavy," Mikey tells me, "and racial matters are on our minds. This isn't a one-day change. In racial situations, food is color-blind. If ice cream can be the medium to let tensions down, let it be. Let it be a slice of heaven in chaos."
Between serving customers, he talks about his experiences growing up in Stuy Town.
"The East Village is a mecca, a melting pot of different cultures, different ethnic groups," he says. "My parents are from Sierra Leone in Africa and my momma cooked dinners different from my neighbors. I learned about their cultures from visiting their homes after school, for example, tasting my friend’s parents Indian-food Thanksgiving dinner. And they learned about mine."
In pursuit of food experiences, Mikey went vegan for one month prior to creating his vegan ice cream so he could learn more about the process and experience a plant-based lifestyle for himself. This led to the Eat To Heal flavor, a vegan blueberry-hibiscus treat with pineapple and cayenne pepper swirl.
Mikey is also partnering with Kolkata Chai Company on Third Street for a vanilla chai with caramel swirl ice cream served, similar to an affogato, where the scoop floats in the hot spiced chai. Mikey Likes It has worked with other local shops, including Whitmans on Ninth Street for a bacon-vanilla-caramel bacon burger.
Mikey’s current favorite flavor is Southern Hospitality (a butter pecan with praline and pieces of pecan pie), which he says is like his store’s policy of offering wholesome family love.
The shop is currently offering deliveries, and pick-up pints and merch with online ordering only, plus a free scoop with every order. Mikey tells me that he shows his customers appreciation with the free treat, so people can eat their scoop on the way home and the ice cream makes it back to their freezers.
You can keep up with Mikey’s changing flavors and hours of operation on Instagram.