Yummi Bunni: Spectacular Concoctions
by Amber Foster
This is a bit of a departure from my typical restaurant reviews, but there's a new rising star in our midst that I simply have to write about. Late last year a new ice cream shop, Yummi Bunni, opened a few doors down from Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island on Main Street, and it has had a line out the door, literally, ever since. I have visited several times and have always had to wait - once for over an hour on a Saturday night. The line was out the door and wrapped halfway around the building! So what's all the fuss about?
This hip little ice cream shop offers an array of interesting flavors and unconventional toppings.
Their claim to fame is the Yummi Bun which costs $5. It is an ice cream creation with a heaping helping of ice cream sandwiched between two halves of a freshly made Tom's glazed or unglazed donut and topped off with fun toppings like cookies or breakfast cereal. The whole thing is wrapped up so you can enjoy a handheld experience, just like an ice cream sandwich.
I will admit I was a bit skeptical. Yes, all of those ingredients are delicious by themselves, but together? I wasn't sure. But, this was love at first bite, and I am not the only one who feels that way (as is evident from the throngs of people you can find there on any given day).
The inspiration for the Yummi Bunni comes from the owners' travels. They love to visit Southern California and ran across something similar there. The idea grew and they eventually found the perfect location in Fort Wayne for their business.
At the time, the building was empty and pretty rustic: no flooring, exposed brick, etc. - basically a shell. The transformation is impressive, and the space now is very contemporary with black and white d?cor, accented with pink neon lights. The company's marketing materials, designed by local phenom Nate Utesh, are clean and instantly recognizable. They have built a very strong brand in a short time, which is impressive in a city that seems to crawl at a snail's pace when it comes to accepting new things.
My only complaint, and it's not really a complaint so much as a preference, is that the ice cream is not made locally. They source their product from a Wisconsin ice creamery that Yummi Bunni claims produces the best ice cream available. I've had some pretty darn good ice cream in my day - like make-your-knees-buckle good - and I can't say what they serve is the best, but it is good. And sandwiched between two halves of a donut, well, it's a pretty delicious combination.
Flavors rotate regularly, and each week they feature a Bun of the Week (BOTW). They also carry dairy-free and vegan flavors, as well.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Frozen Fireside: Dark chocolate ice cream with Oreo, bittersweet chocolate chunks and swirls of marshmallow cream on a glazed bun and topped with honey graham crackers. If you love s'mores, this one is for you.
Velveteen Rabbit: Red velvet ice cream on a glazed bun with white cookie sandwiches. This one is almost too much, but I managed to scarf it down in record time. The Red Velvet was spot on, and I like the substance of the cookies.
El Jefe: Horachata ice cream on a glazed bun with Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I am a big fan of Horchata and was very pleased with this bun. However, I did wish it had more Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The sweet crunchiness complemented the smooth ice cream and fluffy donut.
Couch Potato: Butter pecan ice cream on a glazed bun and topped with potato chips. I wasn't sure about this one, but my mom ordered it and let me steal a bite. The salty sweet combo is just right.
Convinced? Get your buns down there and find out for yourself what all the hype is about. You will not be disappointed - a little jittery from the sugar rush, maybe, but not disappointed.
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Marquee Gala — Embassy Theatre fundraiser featuring cocktails, four-course dinner, behind-the-scenes tours and performance by Billy Porter of Kinky Boots, 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, Embassy Theatre, Fort Wayne, $250, 424-6287
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Fort Wayne Comedy Connection — Comedy at Latch String Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., no cover, 483-5526
Hubie Ashcraft — Acoustic at Mad Anthony Brewing Co., Fort Wayne, 6-9 p.m., no cover, (260) 426-2537
Joe Justice — Variety at Arbor Glen Retirement Village, Fort Wayne, 4-5 p.m., no cover, 492-2202
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22nd Annual Valentine’s Invitational — Works from local and national artists, Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment thru March 31, Castle Gallery Fine Art, Fort Wayne, 426-6568
2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards — Award-winning works from northern Indiana and northwest Ohio middle and high school students, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 9, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Afros: A Celebration of African Hair by Michael July — Contemporary photography exhibit by Brooklyn author/photographer, daily thru April 14, D’Agostino Art Gallery, Indiana Tech, Fort Wayne, 399-8626
An Artful Spring — Works by Gwen Gutwein, Patricia Weiss, Austin Cartwright and more, Tuesday-Saturday thru March 31, Crestwoods Frame Shop & Gallery, Roanoke, 672-2080
Decatur Sculpture Tour — 31 original sculptures and 15 permanent exhibits on display, walking tour maps available, thru April 1, Decatur, free, 724-2605
Echolilia — Works from Timothy Archibald and his autistic son, Eli, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 11, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Entropy — Daniel Swartz solo exhibition explores relationship between death and mourning through combinations of mythology, mathematics, multi-dimensional physics and pop culture, Monday-Saturday thru April 1, Jennifer Ford Art, Fort Wayne, 740-1309
Diane Allen Groenert — Exhibition of local artist’s Downtown Series and new works, Monday-Saturday thru June 24, West Central Microcreamery & Cafe, Fort Wayne, 415-9293
Expressions of Existence — An exhibition of works by artists through history, including Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Francisco Goya and others whose works have been influenced by disabilities, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 11, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Fort Wayne Artist Guild Exhibitions — Works by Alice Siefert at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Jennifer Caudel at Allen County Retinal Surgeons, Anita Trick, Citizens Square (2nd and 3rd floors), Darlene Selzer Miller at The Einhaus Group for Women’s Health, Patricia Weiss at Heritage of Fort Wayne, Emily Jane Butler at Ophthalmology Consultants (Southwest), Linda Binek at Ophthalmology Consultants (North), Carolyn Stachera at Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne, John Kelty at ResCare Inc. Adult Day Service, Wiletta Blevins at Town House Retirement, Karen Bixler at Visiting Nurse Hospice and Barb Yoder and Karen Harvey at Will Jewelers, thru April 30, fortwayneartistguild.org.
Fort Wayne Photographers Club — Exhibition featuring local photographers, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 30, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
Garden Party — Garden-themed works in a variety of mediums from over 30 local artists, Monday-Saturday thru March 31, Orchard Gallery of Fine Art, Fort Wayne, 436-0927
Generations: A View of Who Was Who — Works by Romare Bearden, Kara Walker, Alma Thomas, Jacob Lawrence and other African-American artists, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 9, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Glass: A Medium in Art and Automobiles — Dale Chihuly blown glass and fiberglass auto, daily thru Sept. 8, Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Auburn, $7.50-$12.50, 925-1444
A Mary Poppins Garden Party — Child-oriented garden exhibit, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 1, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
Outdoor Sculpture Invitational — Fifteen outdoor sculptures from regional artists, daily thru April 30, School of Creative Arts campus, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Sharon — An exhibition of Leon Borensztein photographs chronicling the struggles he faced raising his severely disabled daughter, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 11, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Wabash County Schools Exhibition — Works by high school art students, daily thru April 16, Clark Gallery, Honeywell Center, Wabash, 563-1102