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If Willy Wonka’s passion were ice cream and baked goods instead of candy, we’re pretty sure his Oompa Loompa–run facility would have looked (and smelled) just like the Little Man Ice Cream Factory on West Colfax Avenue. The massive red and white space, which founder Paul Tamburello compares to the inside of a churn, is a triple-threat endeavor encompassing an ice cream parlor, a retail shop, and a production home base for 11-year-old Little Man’s four other outlets. Bakers whip up doughnuts, cookies, and, of course, ice cream inside two glass-enclosed kitchens; live music and birthday parties take place on a raised stage; and kids can ride on a wooden slide built by Tamburello. At the service counter, chef Claire Fields dishes out signature flavors in cups, cones, and factory-exclusive flights as well as plated desserts (think: warm slices of pie à la mode) and rotating experimental ice cream iterations that just might outdo Wonka himself.
Scoops of rice and beans Little Man Ice Cream’s Scoop for Scoop program has donated to hungry communities across the globe