It’s starting to warm up again in Plant City, and if you’re looking for a place to cool down with a frozen treat, there’s a new place to try in the Historic Downtown District.
Mr. Sebas Ice Cream and More is officially open. The shop is owned by the Ruiz family, of Plant City. Claudia Ruiz owns Claudia’s Boutique and a banquet hall downtown, but the family wanted to offer something new in town.
“They wanted to open into a more food-type of business, and they thought, ice cream,” Sebastian Ruiz Jr. said about his parents. “It’s a one-of-a-kind, family-owned ice cream shop. That’s what my parents wanted, because they like to own independent businesses downtown.”
Mr. Sebas sells homemade ice cream, as well as snacks, cold drinks and lunch items.
“We’re adding new menu items every week,” Ruiz Jr. said.
The Ruizes spent about two years planning the shop’s opening, but started interior construction last October. They hired an ice cream expert to teach them how to make their own frozen desserts in house, and they offer their ice cream in scoops or in frozen bar form.
Customers will find their favorite classic flavors, such as cookies and cream, and tasty toppings such as gummy worms and nuts. But some of the ice cream flavors are culturally inspired and less common in Plant City. Chamoy, a spicy mango flavor, with chunks of real fruit, has been one of the most popular.
“We have to constantly keep on making it because it runs out,” Ruiz Jr. said.
But as the shop name suggests, ice cream is not the only thing that Mr. Sebas offers. Customers looking for a savory snack can order nachos, hot dogs or chicharrón, all with assorted toppings. By the end of April, the Ruizes expect to also offer Cuban sandwiches.
The Ruizes hope that the shop will become a destination for Plant City residents and visitors of all ages, but specifically, they have a vision of serving teenagers looking for a safe place to hang out.
“We want people to come, do their homework, get some ice cream or a drink and hang out with their friends,” Ruiz Jr. said.
Though the shop officially opened Wednesday, March 4, the doors were unlocked the day before. A number of people stopped by to find out whether the shop was open, and they went inside to try it for the first time.
“Many people said they would have come back, and that was something nice to hear,” Ruiz Jr. said.
For now, Mr. Sebas accepts only cash payments, but the shop will accept credit cards soon.
Mr. Sebas Ice Cream & More
Address: 104 E. Reynolds Street
Phone: (813) 756-3463
Hours: Closed Monday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Contact Catherine Sinclair at [email protected].