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Tyra Banks Opened a ‘Smize’ Cream Shop in Santa Monica Last Week

The former America’s Next Top Model debuted her frozen custard shop at Santa Monica Place

Tyra Banks at her Smize Cream shop in Santa Monica, California
Tyra Banks and her Smize Cream
Massimo Campana
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

However you feel about Tyra Banks, she exemplifies hustle. Since making her supermodel debut in 1991, Banks maneuvered through different projects over the decades from being an entrepreneur and teaching classes at Stanford business school to producing the Emmy award-winning show America’s Next Top Model. But now Banks has a new venture that opened July 3 in the Santa Monica Place mall: An ice cream shop called Smize Cream, a clear nod to her modeling term “smize,” which describes smiling with your eyes.

Smize Cream started as a springtime pop-up in Santa Monica. The Inglewood-native had previous plans for the space from 2019 when she announced the start of an ambitious venture called Modelland, a 21,000-square-foot supermodel-themed interactive experience in Santa Monica Place. Modelland was supposed to open in May 2020 as a ticketed attraction and restaurant before being canceled due to the pandemic. For now, Banks will focus on doing ice cream.

To be clear, Smize Cream is made with more egg yolk than its sister ice cream variety, so this qualifies stuff as frozen custard, with a cookie dough truffle covered in sprinkles at the bottom of every cup. For now, Smize Cream will begin with seven flavors, and of course, flavors will have names that her fans will likely adore:

  • The best vanilla I ever had
  • Strawberry ‘birthyay’ cake
  • Brownies, I love you
  • Purple cookie mon-star and me
  • Salted caramel king
  • Cookie caramel queen
  • Chocolate barbecue

Banks’ team worked with Dr. Maya Warren, an ice cream scientist, to develop the flavors. Dr. Warren has a doctorate from University of Wisconsin-Madison in food science and has her own notable experience with reality television as the 25th season winner of The Amazing Race.

Smize Cream will also be available for nationwide shipping via its online shop. Hours are Monday to Friday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Smize Cream shop owner Tyra Banks in Santa Monica, California
Tyra Banks at Smize Cream
Courtesy of The Rose Group

Smize Cream

395 Santa Monica Place #155 , Santa Monica, CA 90401 Visit Website