The last glacier south of Lyon had been arriving for a long time.

Launched on an idea in 2018, Curvin’s Family Creamery finally opened at 226 S. Lafayette in July. The community’s reaction so far has been anything but cold.

“The support we’ve gotten so far is incredible,” said Chris Curvin, a Lycée de Lyon Sud alumnus who opened the store with his wife, Christine. “They were out the door and walking down the sidewalk on (opening day).”

Signs were first placed in the window of the space – nestled between Third Monk Brewing Company and the village bakery in southern Lyon – almost two years ago announcing the opening. Since then, hungry customers have been waiting for the store to be remodeled and turned into an ice cream parlor.

After working in the auto industry, Chris Curvin said he felt the urge to do something different. After looking at potential ice cream shops to go through, he said his daughter found someone in Florida willing to train people in the method of creating nitrogen ice cream.

“In February 2018, I flew to Orlando for a long weekend and learned the trade from him,” said Chris Curvin.

The Curvins, who live in Plymouth, said they initially looked at a space in Ann Arbor that ended up failing. They then turned to his childhood home and discovered the former Scrooge and Barley space, later signing a lease. While it took a while with the COVID-19 pandemic and issues with contractors delaying the store to open, the space feels completely different now that the interior has been transformed.

Not your average ice cream

The shop is a unique variation of traditional ice cream: it is created from nitrogen, which helps reduce the amount of air in the frozen treat. The use of nitrogen, said Chris Curvin, creates a more unique product.

“The best part is there are no ice crystals, you created it so quickly,” he said. “It’s a very creamy ice cream.”

The ingredients are combined before liquid nitrogen, which has a very low boiling point, is added to instantly freeze them. This method prevents the formation of large ice crystals, makes the ice cream smoother and reduces the amount of air in the product. There are several basic flavors, including chocolate, mint, peach, birthday cake, and coffee, among others.

The method also allows you to add mixtures – such as cookie pieces, nuggets and other delicious treats – at different times. The store has several additions that can be added, such as cherries, brownie pieces and peanuts.

There are also nut-free and vegan options. Offering those on the menu was important for those who can’t help but eat dairy products or other ingredients, said Christine Curvin, who also teaches at the college in Pinckney.

She said they saw a family come in after the opening and a little girl was sad because she couldn’t have traditional ice cream. That frown turned into a smile when Christine Curvin informed her that they also had non-dairy options.

“She had the biggest smile on her face,” Christine Curvin said. “It was so cute. It made my day.”

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It also offers smoothies, shakes, and hand-made ice cream, sourced from New Era-based Country Dairy.

It has been a busy time since opening, with many customers coming through the door to try the new product. Chris Curvin said they saw a lot of people they knew at work and his South Lyon high school classmates made the trip to see the store and buy ice cream.

Curvin’s Family Creamery is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Contact reporter David Veselenak at [email protected] or 734-678-6728. Follow him on twitter @davidveselenak.

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