LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Summer is almost here. And so of course, we want to bring you a little taste of what's to come. We are talking ice cream, of course. But it's being served up in a unique way in Los Angeles. There is a newly opened museum of ice cream there, a surreal homage to my favorite dessert, which calls itself quote, "a place where flavors are mysteries, toppings are toys and sprinkles make the world a better place." Maryellis Bunn is the co-founder of the museum, and she joins us now.
Welcome to the program.
MARYELLIS BUNN: Thanks for having me.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Can you just tell us what we would see there? I mean, I understand there's a pool filled with sprinkles. What else can people experience there?
BUNN: So the pool itself - I grew up in California next to the ocean. And as a child, I always thought it would be so fantastic if the ocean was filled with sprinkles and be something that I could swim in. And then other rooms - there's a banana split room, which has 10,000 bananas. A mint grow house, which is inspired by many people's favorite ice cream, which is mint chocolate chip. There's a sherbet room, popsicle room, kind of, like, anything that one can imagine in the subject around ice cream we've kind of thought about in how we can elevate it and scale that into installations.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So when all these people are going through all these rooms, you're also serving them ice cream, right? There's places that they can eat.
BUNN: Of course. Every room has either something you can eat, smell or touch. So California Room, we're serving our best of California flavors. In our Mint Room, we're serving a mint ice cream. We have created our own in-house ice cream. I'm calling it I Scream for Breakfast because breakfast is my favorite meal, and we're serving ice cream sandwiches made with pancakes, which is quite fun.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So why, though, an ice cream museum? Why?
BUNN: Sure. So I think that there was three main factors that went into original, like, conception of the Museum of Ice Cream. One, obviously starts with, like, an adoration and just love and passion for ice cream, which I have and a vast need for millennials - and, I think, really across the board - for experiences. And then people are looking for things that are authentic and something to do. And so I wanted to really bridge those three things together and create something that I could serve to a mass array of audiences.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So you mentioned that this is all about experiences and millennials want to go places and do things. And you have described your museum as, quote, "an Instagram haven." Is that part of the idea, just allowing people to connect on social media and have it be a space where you're picture perfect?
BUNN: Sure. I think that - I don't know if I necessarily had put it that way. But I think we've been coined under that phrase. I think we're all looking to create content and kind of build our own personal brands, if you will, on social media and have places that are conducive to kind of elevate and show who we are as individuals. And the museum serves, I think, to do that quite well. And every room is built in mind with how do you create the best capture for photography and social?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: What's your favorite flavor, if I may ask something so personal?
BUNN: (Laughter) No. It's funny. I get it all the time. And I think most people actually are quite disappointed. But my favorite flavor is vanilla for two reasons.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Isn't that sacrilege to say that your favorite ice cream is vanilla?
BUNN: You know what? - I have a - I can back and support it. I think if you do a good vanilla or if you do a good base, you are - you know, you're quite destined to be very successful in all of your other flavors. So we have a lot of ice cream vendors that reach out to us and are trying to send me ice cream. And I said, you know what, I have, you know, freezers and freezers full. But send me your vanilla, or send me your base. And from there, I'll be able to kind of decipher the strength of your other flavors.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Maryellis Bunn is co-founder of the Museum of Ice Cream in Los Angeles.
Thanks so much.
BUNN: Thank you. Bye-bye.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME")
FLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: (Singing) End of the spring and here she comes back. Hi, hi, hi, hi there. Them summer days, those summer days.
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