We recently visited with Matt Lumpkin and his crew at their shop at Bayou Village in Gulf Shores, a shopping center anchored by the Original Oyster House restaurant and located at the intersection of Gulf Shores Parkway and Windmill Ridge Road.
Matt shared his story with us. Born and raised in nearby Fairhope, Matt’s first career was in chemical sales for a large paint manufacturer.
After tiring of his “road warrior” status, Matt revisited his lifelong dream of owning an ice cream and coffee shop.
Three years ago he opened his first store on Gulf Shores Parkway next to Flowers by the Shore florist to big crowds. In February 2016, he opened his second shop at Bayou Village.
In one busy summertime week, Matt told us his crew scooped 618 gallons of ice cream. The day before we visited, Matt’s served 1,702 people. Seems like an awful lot of the ice dreamy treat, but it’s not really surprising when you learn that Matt’s ice cream is crafted exclusively in nearby Mobile for his stores.
With flavors inspired by the tropical environment of the Gulf Coast plus a host of seasonal concoctions, Matt’s is known for flavors like Alabama Hot Chocolate (served year round), candy corn, king cake, moon pie, peppermint and more.
On the day we visited, we tried flavors like blueberry, Creole praline, glazed doughnut (Krispy Kreme, of course), banana pudding, seagull tracks and many more.
In a nod to the Original Oyster House, Matt’s also serves ice cream featuring the restaurant’s peanut butter and key lime pies. Oh, and the top selling specialty treat: brownie sundae, featuring brownies made by Matt’s mom. Yum!
Matt pulled out all the stops letting us taste to our hearts' content. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten that much ice cream in one fell swoop, and it was amazing (and a perfect way to cool off on a warm day in July).
For “dessert,” we concluded our taste testing with Matt’s Breeze, a 16-ounce local favorite composed of two shots of espresso blended with homemade butter pecan ice cream and topped with whipped cream, chocolate powder, cinnamon powder and chocolate syrup.
Matt’s is also now serving his own proprietary blend of coffee roasted just for the shop. Be sure to stop by during your next Gulf Coast vacation.
Matt’s is open from 1-10 p.m., seven days a week. It is located just a couple of minutes south of the Meyer Vacation Rentals office in Gulf Shores.
Our Fave Top 20
20. Chocolate Peanut Butter
Double trouble! This classic combo will make you feel like you are taking a bite out of a Reese’s cup.
19. Seagull Tracks
Fly high with this flavor. Enjoy the variety of flavors that goes in this ice cream – nuts, caramel, chocolate and more. It will keep your taste buds guessing what comes next.
18. Bubble Gum
Bubble gum, bubble gum in my dish! This flavor is perfect for ice cream lovers of all ages, with yummy little bites size pieces of real bubble gum. In this flavor, you get two treats in one.
Strawberry ice cream never tasted so good. Nothing beats a classic. You’ll enjoy the fresh taste of strawberries in this mix.
16. Toffee Crunch
Crunchy goodness is the way to describe this sweet treat. Indulge in the creamy blend of toffee and ice cream with bits of candy. A sensational flavor with every bite.
15. Green Mint Chip
This minty treat is packed with yummy chocolate. It is the classic flavor of mint and chocolate, only better! Reminds us of Andes mints.
14. Glazed Doughnut
No sticky fingers with this decadent flavor. This cool treat makes you feel like you just pulled up to Krispy Kreme and indulged in of their freshly made glazed doughnuts.
13. Salted Caramel
Sweet yet a bit salty. That’s the best way to describe the salted caramel ice cream. The rich flavors of salted caramel and vanilla ice cream are the perfect treat for a hot day.
12. Blueberry Cheesecake
The blueberry cheesecake ice cream is a perfect treat to indulge in after a long day in the sun. Rich with the flavors of fresh blueberries and rich cheesecake, this ice cream flavor is a winner.
11. Birthday Cake
Take a bite out of this fabulous flavor and it will make you feel like you are celebrating your birthday with a bang. This flavor has huge ribbons of real icing mixed in with its rich cake flavored ice cream.
10. Caramel Swirl
Classic caramel swirl! A ribbon of caramel winds throughout the rich creamy vanilla, creating a decadent flavor.
9. Matt’s Vanilla
This isn’t your grocery store vanilla ice cream. It’s so much sweeter. Matt’s use of Mexican vanilla means the flavor is both rich and sweet. This flavor tastes like it was just churned.
8. Cookies and Cream
This classic got an upgrade. Enjoy giant chunks of Oreo cookie blended in with the creamy vanilla ice cream. A festival of flavor that’s both crunchy and creamy.
7. Cappa Crunch
Don’t burn your tongue on this cappuccino. This yummy cappuccino-flavored ice cream, blending both sweet and bitter, will cool you down on any hot summer day.
Forgot to pick up blueberries from the grocery? No problem. This blueberry-flavored ice cream will make your feel like you just picked a handful of fresh blueberries right off the bush.
5. Strawberry Cheesecake
This decadent flavor tastes as though you’re just sliced off a large piece of strawberry cheesecake. Churned into ice cream, the cheesecake is even tastier.
4. Alabama Hot Chocolate
It’s hot outside, but it’s time for a hot chocolate. Alabama hot chocolate ice cream, that is. It’s a chocolate flavor that’s not overly sweet, and it’s a proprietary flavor and top seller for Matt’s Homemade Ice Cream.
Nothing speaks of summertime more than biting into a nice juicy peach. Well, that’s what you’ll think you did when you taste Matt’s peach-flavored ice cream. Tastes like summertime and is #3 choice.
2. Banana Pudding
This flavor will drive you bananas when you taste it! You won’t believe you are taking a bite of ice cream until you get a brain freeze from eating it too quickly. A scoop of this ice cream will take you right back to grandma’s banana pudding.
1. Creole Praline
Remember the creamy richness of the last praline you ate? Well, this creamy, nutty treat tastes just like that. Only better. It was our all-time favorite flavor.