You probably already know Tyra Banks as a TV personality, actress, and model, but in 2023, she primarily wants to be seen as a businesswoman. She founded her own ice cream brand in 2021, SMiZE Cream, which recently rebranded to SMiZE &Dream—and now TMZ reports that Banks has decided to pull back on her screen work in order to focus on her cream work.
Though TMZ is not typically the go-to news outlet for food stories, it recently published an exclusive interview with Banks as she was leaving Whole Foods with plenty of ice-cream-reated R&D materials in tow (including chocolate chips, marshmallows, and pints of various flavors).
“I feel it’s time for me to focus on my business and my entrepreneurship,” Banks told TMZ. “And also producing more TV, but behind the scenes.”
Banks launched SMiZE Cream—a nod to “smizing,” a term she coined for “smiling with your eyes”—in 2021, and seems to have embraced the hustle ever since. The brand features flavors like Lionel Richie’s All Night Love (vanilla ice cream, midnight cookie crumble swirl, a salted caramel ribbon, and chocolate hearts) and Purple Cookie Monstar and Me (essentially a cookies and cream flavor, but with purple ice cream). Each pint has a sprinkle-covered cookie dough truffle hidden in the bottom, which SMiZE calls “the prize.”
In 2022, Banks announced that the ice cream would be available fleetwide on Princess Cruises in single-serving cups. She also promoted the ice cream at an experiential event, Modelland, where guests learn how to pose like models and, uh, sample ice cream in the same visit? Strike a pose, smash a scoop!
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In order to allegedly focus even more time and energy on the SMiZE & Dream brand, Banks will step away from Dancing With the Stars, which she has hosted since 2020. She’ll be replaced by professional dancer Julianne Hough, who’s a veteran of the show, as a dance partner as well as a featured judge.
Celebrities and food are always a strategic pair, and that’s especially true in the current landscape: The Jonas Brothers have been pushing their popcorn (I see it every time I go to the grocery store), Ryan Reynolds made a disgusting amount of money from the sale of Aviation Gin, and Snoop Dogg been at work nonstop launching his own food and beverage products for years. Dolly Parton’s food endeavors always make headlines, and McDonald’s celebrity meals are always runaway hits. The list goes on and on.
There’s a SMiZE Cream location in Lawndale, California, and the company has a partnership with a restaurant chain called Brunch and Cake in the UAE. Though it hasn’t reached the United States in other brick-and-mortar locations yet, the SMiZE & Dream rebrand promises a global expansion, and interested customers can join the waitlist on Goldbelly for eventual delivery service. If Banks fulfills her dreams of taking the throne from Ben and Jerry’s, maybe we’ll see this stuff at the grocery store sooner rather than later.