Getting to Know Over the Rainbow

ice cream cup
Business Feature
Sep 21, 2022
Staff Reports

There hasn’t been much rain lately but there is a new rainbow in Brownwood! And even better than a pot of gold, there’s handmade ice cream at the end of this one! Downtown’s sweetest new sensation is Over the Rainbow, our town’s first ice cream shop with flavors and mix-ins all made in-house from scratch. The shop’s opening this month on September 3rd was the talk of the town with its line stretching way past the door and down the street! Though it’s only been a few weeks, we can safely say this new business is going to be a huge hit!

Meet the McDermed’s

We can thank the McDermed family for bringing ice cream to Brownwood. Julie and Justin moved to Early, Texas nine and a half years ago with their two kids Rowan and Brynlee. Perhaps her young children unconsciously played a role in choosing to sell ice cream, but what’s certain is that Julie has always had the grit and ambition to own her own business. After deciding this would be the year she became an entrepreneur, Julie thought about what she and her fellow Brown County community would enjoy. Ice cream was the clear choice!

You can take a girl out of Kansas, but you can’t take Kansas out of the girl. The name Over the Rainbow is a subtle nod to Julie’s home state, but it is also a meaningful homage to overcoming challenges, growing from failure, and chasing one’s dream. What’s more, after tasting her ice cream, we can further make the connection that just like a rainbow, the dessert is heavenly.

A Menu Made from Scratch

“Whatever you are doing in the game of life, give it all you’ve got.”

- Norman Vincent Peale

Julie and her team are definitely giving 100 percent. Everything from the milk base, to the cookie crumbles, is made by hand right there in the shop, using only the highest quality of ingredients. They do not use a pre-made dairy mix like most other ice cream shops and those you can find in the grocery store. Every quart of cream is poured into the pan, every egg is individually cracked, and every cup of sugar is hand stirred. This attention to detail and sprinkled in love is what makes Over the Rainbow’s ice cream simply to die for!

“It’s important to me to know each and every ingredient that is going into every batch. So all of the cookies, brownies, caramels, marshmallows, and purées will be made from scratch.”

- Julie McDermed

On the menu are 11 delicious flavors which are currently: salted caramel, milk + cookies, coconut sorbet (dairy-free), chocolate (sugar-free), vanilla, cookies + cream, chocolate + peanut butter, strawberries + cream, browned butter pecan, coffee, and mint chip. The classics will stay while the seasonal flavors will rotate. One visit will not be enough to taste everything Over the Rainbow has to offer! 

Julie predicts milk + cookies will be the town’s favorite because who can resist freshly baked homemade chocolate chip cookies that are still gooey in the center, mixed with the classic sweet cream base? Certainly not the McDermed’s as this is Julie’s favorite flavor! Once they get settled and into the rhythm of regular operating hours, we can look forward to gourmet cookies being added to the menu. And potential delivery options will be a thoughtful way to share the love with friends and family for special occasions or just because! 

Getting Started

One fateful “For Rent” sign changed the McDermed’s plans from a mobile ice cream trailer to a brick and mortar retail front, or should I say “stone” and mortar. When casually walking through downtown, Julie spotted an available building at 201 Fisk Street, right next to Twisted Axes. Peeking through the window, seeing a beautiful, original stone wall completely stole Julie’s heart. 

“Everything in me told me this is where we were meant to be and exactly what we were supposed to do.”

- Julie McDermed

Not knowing where to begin, Julie reached out to Planning and Development Director, Tim Murray, who quickly organized all the necessary paperwork, gathered helpful resources, and put her in contact with all the right people. Justin and Julie were thankful for the timely cooperation from the many different tradesmen working on the construction project. 

“Fortunately our electricians and plumbers were able to work us into their schedules. Brownwood's city crews and our building owner have gone above and beyond to get us up and running.”

- Julie McDermed

Extremely excited, the family jumped in with both feet and began transforming the interior. Julie didn’t envision a brightly colored, patterned wallpapered, vintage-styled ice cream parlor. Instead, she created a minimalist contemporary space with sleek lines and muted colors, thus allowing customers to focus on the integrity of the ice cream. The result is a very casual, relaxing space that invites people to come hang out with their friends and family. 

Ice Cream For All

Since opening, Over the Rainbow has received nothing but glowing reviews. A constant line of people have embraced the new business so much so that the shop can barely keep up with demand! Over the Rainbow’s latest post on Facebook indicates a very successful future. “Wow! Y’all went through 45 gallons of ice cream in 1.5 days!!”