Dylan Lemay has always been passionate about ice cream. He used his experience working with Cold Stone to become a content creator and started his own ice cream shop shortly after. A few years after his first video went online, Dylan definitely has come a long way in his journey as a content creator and business owner.
Get to know Dylan Lemay and discover how his love for ice cream led him to where he is now.
Tell us a bit more about you and the inspiration behind Catch’n Ice Cream.
Dylan Lemay started working with ice cream at 15 when he was hired by one of his friends at Cold Stone. He never imagined his stint would keep going, but he ended up working there throughout high school and college.
In 2020, he started posting videos of himself at work, and that led him to get his own ice cream shop in New York City. During this time, he took all the things he loved and hated about ice cream, what he learned from creating content online, and then mashed all of those ideas together to become a content creator.
Dylan Lemay proudly shares he does things differently. For instance, ice cream is shaped into a ball and rolled into toppings. He says, “Our cookie ice cream is vanilla ice cream wrapped in cookie dough, so you get tons of cookies in it.”
Dylan’s inspiration to dive into the content creation space is to identify issues he saw when he was working with ice cream or eating ice cream and try to fix them but make the process more fun and unique.
How did you start your business?
During 2021, Dylan traveled a lot and supported many small businesses through his content. He quit his job at Cold Stone during this time and was trying to go around the country to find cool people and share what they were doing online.
One of the people he met while he was traveling was Chris Camillo. Chris wanted to start an ice cream shop with Dylan, which flourished into a business partnership that led to the birth of Catch’n Ice Cream. Chris is one of the lead investors of Catch’n Ice Cream and has become Dylan’s business partner.
What was your biggest challenge, and how did you overcome it?
Dylan had a lot of people helping him in different aspects of the business, but he was in charge of the ice cream — and this was a big challenge for him. He had to make sure that the ice cream tasted good and different at the same time.
He recalls going through several trials and errors just to figure out how to make ice cream balls. He had to “invent” a new way of making ice cream by finding the right machines and tools. After figuring out how to make ice cream balls, he has to work on getting the toppings on the balls and creating flavors for those toppings.
Making ice cream was very challenging for Dylan, and he feared he couldn’t get it right. He remembered being so nervous because they already got everything together for the ice cream shop except for the ice cream itself.
Fortunately, he and his team ended up finding a product that did exactly what he needed it to do, and things started flowing from there. He also credits hard work and research for having delicious ice cream balls of all varieties and flavors today.
What advice would you give to someone starting a food business?
“Be very patient and find the right people to do it with,” Dylan says. He believes that having that dream and an amazing team to work with go hand in hand to achieve success in any food business. When either is lacking — say you have a dream but don’t have the right people around you — it’ll be challenging to thrive and succeed as a food business owner.
Dylan Lemay also advises aspiring entrepreneurs to take their time and don’t hurry. Instead of rushing for things to work out, he says, “Have fun, enjoy the ride and the journey.”
What would you say is the most rewarding part of working and owning Catch’n Ice Cream?
Seeing families come together and enjoy ice cream makes everything worth it for Dylan. Their shop offers a behind-the-counter experience where people can make their own ice cream and learn how to throw, chop, and mix ice cream. Hearing a whole line of people inside the shop as they chant on others chop ice cream is also a very fun experience for Dylan.
He recalls a family coming into their store with parents who were reserved and didn’t interact with their kids as much. By learning how to throw ice cream at each other on Catch’n Ice Cream, the parents had fun with their kids. Bringing families together and creating a special moment for them has always been a very joyful moment for Dylan.
Can you share with us upcoming flavors and products?
Dylan Lemay and his team recently came up with a new flavor, strawberry mango, which is very refreshing and perfect for summer. It’s basically mango ice cream dipped down into orange, white chocolate and then rolled in freeze-dried strawberries.
Tell us a bit more about how you became an influencer and content creator.
Dylan’s journey to becoming an influencer and content creator started with his friend, Allie. Allie was working for Dylan when he was managing Cold Stone and wanted to become TikTok famous. Dylan offered his help by creating videos and checking what was viral on TikTok. He eventually understood how to make videos and started to make his own after.
Dylan’s first video went viral on TikTok, and after 56 days, he hit a million followers. During this time, Dylan and his co-workers were all mind-blown because, for them, it all started as a joke, and no one thought of their videos going viral.
From there, Dylan Lemay figured out that content creation is an excellent opportunity, and something can actually come out of it. He decided to keep going, and now, he’s sitting in New York City in the basement of his ice cream shop. He says the entire experience was “really crazy.”
What platforms do you mainly use to create content?
TikTok is Dylan’s largest platform, with over 11 million followers, but he considers YouTube as his main platform because this is where he posts most of his short- and long-form videos. He currently has 4.75 million subscribers on YouTube.
How do you engage with your audience? What is your strategy?
From the very beginning, Dylan focused on reading comments. He considers comments very important to grow because it doesn’t only allow him to engage with his audience; it also helps him understand what they like and enjoy.
Whenever Dylan posts a video, he reads through the comments to see what people like most about that video and double down on that thing. For example, when he sees people commenting about how they love ice cream being mixed in a certain way, Dylan will continue making videos with him mixing ice cream in the same way.
How do you come up with new and creative content?
Dylan still relies on the comment section of his video to create new and creative content. He considers his audience a “giant source of ideas” to the point where they’re almost better than him because they watch all of his videos and easily come up with all sorts of ideas.
Collaboration also helps with Dylan’s content creation process, as he can take inspiration from other people and learn from other creators. He finds collaboration really helpful for all creators.
What advice would you give to someone looking to be online famous?
Dylan advises you to be sure of who you are before starting because the worst thing that could happen is you become online famous or gain a large following for something you don’t like to do because you’re going to be stuck with that.
Anyone who wants to be online famous should find something they really care about and something they could spend every day making videos about. And for Dylan, it was with ice cream all the time, so it made sense for him to make videos about ice cream.
What’s your process for collaborating with brands and other influencers?
Dylan’s process is straightforward: it’s just finding people that think the same way as he does. For example, when collaborating with creators, Dylan makes sure that there’s friendship or mutual understanding beforehand because collaborations go better when two people watch each other’s videos or love each other’s audience.
For brands, Dylan chooses brands that make sense to do something together. He wants his fans to love the videos he creates with brands rather than merely posting ads made with certain brands.
What roles do you think influencers and content creators play in shaping the future of the creator economy?
Dylan thinks that influencers and content creators will become the center of bigger conversations in the future. Presently, Dylan sees creators leveraging their audience to create massive brands, and they’re going to out-compete many traditional brands that have been around for centuries.
For example, Mr. Beast’s Mr. Beast Burger and David Dobrik’s pizza. A lot of huge brands are coming up doing the same because they have a relationship with their audience that goes beyond just a product. Many are moving outside of just online brands and taking on these new opportunities.
What trends do you see emerging in the creator economy?
In the future, Dylan sees people moving to create brands organic to them. He thinks people will create new things that no one would’ve ever thought of but make sense for their brands.
Do you have any goals for Catch’n Ice Cream or your personal brand that you want to share with us?
Dylan just wants to enjoy their first summer being opened. They opened last July 29th, which was the tail end of the summer. He’s just really excited getting to experience what Catch’n Ice Cream really and truly is during its peak.