Museum of Ice Cream founder Maryellis Bunn takes us on a journey through her ice-cream-fantasy-filled days, all while walking in our shoes…
Maryellis Bunn is a woman driven first and foremost to make connections. Perhaps most notably, she was able to do that through…ice cream, and with the creation of her San Francisco-based museum (and 3 other locations in NY, LA and Miami). Ice cream may serve as an atypical medium for this kind of unification, but the sheer joy it brings seems to transcend anything in its dreamy wake. We asked Maryellis a few questions about the eighth wonder of the world, footwear, and why vanilla plays such a pivotal role in her life…
Tell us about your first memory of ice cream – how old were you? How did it make you feel?
Ice Cream memories are some of my earliest, and I remember being 2 or 3 years old with my mother and brother eating an ice cream cone on the beach. What’s amazing about early ice cream memories is that for me, and I think many children around the world, it was my first purchase. The first time you are given money or, in my case the first time I ever saved money, it went straight to the ice cream truck…
The pool full of sprinkles – how did this incredible dream come about?
Growing up near the Pacific Ocean, I always fantasized about the ocean and I had this early dream that I would fill the ocean with sprinkles. While I haven’t literally filled the ocean with sprinkles, I think having millions of people around the world swimming in our Sprinkle Pools is pretty much that dream come true.
Did you always know you’d make a career out of the joy that is ice cream?
Definitely not! I have always been fascinated by building systems, processes, and engineering. I never imagined that I could use something I love — ice cream — as an innovation that I would argue is more potent than any current technology in truly bringing people together.
What does a typical day in the life of Maryellis look like?
5am: I wake up and typically eat some pineapple or avocado. And try to find a few minutes to just think and process before picking up that phone and firing of some morning thoughts via Slack.
6am: I try to work out 3x a week on a rotation of The Class, SLT or mat Pilates.
8am: I head to the office or a meeting and from there I am off to the races.
Can you liken your shoes to different ice cream flavors?
My favorite flavor is vanilla because I love to try different brands’ take on the flavor. If they nail vanilla, then I am ready to try their offering. With FP, these white shoes are kind of like my vanilla. They’ve become a staple that I love.
What is your favorite part of the Museum of Ice Cream?
First, taking ideas and making them into real-life experiences, products or designs. Next is getting to build a team; #TEAMMOIC is the heart and soul of our company and, leading us from five to over 1K of current and alumni team members, has been rewarding and one of the hardest things I have ever done.
How much do your shoes dictate what your day will look like?
With my job, no day is the same and every one seems bigger than the next. These days I am rarely tied to my computer so being on my feet from 6am to 11pm, my shoes have become crucial to my hustle.