At Pink Pony Soft Serve, ordering starts with a deceptively simple choice: chocolate or vanilla.
There’s only one soft serve machine at the ice cream shop at 2536 Alvarado NE, which churns the two flavors. But from there, the options are endless; owner Beth Hommell describes chocolate and vanilla as a “blank canvas” for a multitude of toppings like homemade marshmallows and locally-grown pistachios and pecans.
“I just really like focusing on quality ingredients,” Hommell said. “I try to use local whenever possible … trying to utilize what does grow here.”
Hommell has spent most of her life working in the food industry, working as a private chef and a caterer. She also previously ran a mobile bar cart in Oakland, California.
Hommell learned how to make ice cream on a dairy farm in Petaluma, California.
“These guys make cheese and gelato,” Hommell said. “I got to know them, and was kind of already interested in ice cream, but they taught me how.”
Hommell opened Pink Pony as a food truck last year, and had a regular stop at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. The truck was once a delivery truck for the Albuquerque Journal, before it turned into something sweeter. She opened the brick-and-mortar Mar. 15.
Everything starts with milk and cream from Albuquerque-based Rasband Dairy. Hommell makes chocolate and vanilla ice cream bases, which are churned fresh daily, to make soft serve, which she explained is served at a higher temperature than traditional ice cream. Hommell also makes floats with Zia root beer and piñon cola.
The name, Pink Pony, reflects the playful nature of the business, Hommell said.
“Part of it is you know taking back the reins, kind of, working for yourself,” Hommell said. “But also, ice cream brings out the kid in all of us.”