AUSTIN (KXAN) — The sizzling stretch of record-breaking temperatures this summer may not motivate many to want to venture outside for very long, but a few Austin-based businesses count on customers turning to them for some cold, sugary relief from the heat.

Lick Honest Ice Creams

  • 3 locations in Austin, 3 in San Antonio
  • Cost: Free admission, each game has a price
  • Open 7 days a week

However, the prolonged hot, dry conditions in Texas are making it more difficult to offer every option that people may expect from one shop.

From blueberries to lavender, Lick Honest Ice Creams uses ingredients sourced from local family-owned farms and food vendors to make all its different flavors. Co-founder Anthony Sobotik said the recipes change throughout the year depending on what’s in season or what the farmers are growing. However, he said the drought, which is currently listed at an extreme or exceptional level for most of Central Texas, is affecting what’s available this year.

“When we have a year like this year — where the peaches were super late; we had very limited supply of blueberries; we didn’t get any blackberries, we really just have to rethink our whole seasonal lineup,” Sobotik explained. “Because of how we make the ice cream and how we think of flavors, it’s a challenge, but one that we really like because we get to then do flavors that we typically would maybe never get to do because we would have all the fruits and vegetables.”

During the summer, he said he and the team at Lick usually create three different flavors using peaches. Because they couldn’t get any of the fruit this time around, he said they pivoted to try out another flavor idea — peach leaf graham crunch — that they talked about several years ago but never pursued until now.

Sobotik explained Lick blended peach leaves into the base, which he said gave it an almond flavor, and then added a homemade cinnamon crumble to make what’s essentially an almond crunch ice cream. Additionally, because cherries are in short supply this year, he said his business is incorporating Mexican plums as a substitute since they have a similar tartness.

“Anything that we’d want to do that has that sort of a flavor profile, we would try to work with the Mexican plum in that way,” Sobotik said. “They’re super drought tolerant. They’re foraged across the city and so they’re incredibly sustainable, and we can pretty much every year get them.”

Sobotik and his partner Chad Palmatier opened their first Lick location in Austin in 2011, the year that had the most 100° days on record. There are now three shops in different parts of the city: 1100 S. Lamar Blvd., 6555 Burnet Road #200 and 1905 Aldrich Street #150. They also have stores in San Antonio and will welcome customers into their first College Station location next month.

That expansion coupled with the possibility of even hotter, drier conditions in the future is making Sobotik think his business will keep facing challenges getting certain ingredients, so there will be a need for continually developing new ice cream recipes.

“The seasons have sort of shifted around and just the amount of the product we can get has decreased more often than it has in the past, so we’re shifting our flavors around to accommodate that,” Sobotik said, noting that’s one of his favorite parts of his job.

The co-founders of Lick Honest Ice Creams also hope their LGBTQ-owned business raises visibility for the community.

“I think of myself going into an ice cream shop as a child with my parents,” Sobotik said, who grew up an hour and 40 minutes southeast of Austin. “But me as a young gay boy, if I then saw that it was a gay-owned ice cream shop, for me that would be huge. I think that it’s providing that sort of an outlet to someone who would maybe never experience it because everyone loves ice cream.”

This story is part of a KXAN series highlighting Central Texas activities — you can see our full list on our “Central Texas Things to Do” page. Do you have an idea of something we should profile? Email us at reportit@kxan.com.