Holy banana! Dayton man’s dessert may just drive you bananas

Banana dessert needs a kick start

There are two simple reasons Fronana cannot be confused with ice cream.

“There is no cream or ice,” Fronana founder Robert “Bobby” Walker said.

The “no dairy, no gluten, no sugar, no guilt” frozen banana treat is selling like ice cream cones on a hot day, though.

Walker, a South Park resident and former Air Force first lieutenant, debuted his company July 19 (National Ice Cream Day) at a Third on Third flea market.

Hundreds of scoops of the raw, vegan and paleo-friendly dessert have been sold since then, including 250 at the Yellow Cab’s Food Truck Rally last weekend.

People have gobbled up peanut butter, chocolate and Orange Dream flavors as well as blackberry and mango and pineapple varieties.

A single scoop called a Skinny Dip is $3. A double dip is $5.

Walker, a St. Louis native who moved here three years ago for work at Wright-Patt, created the tasty treat to calm his ice cream craving.

It’s worked.

“I eat it for breakfast every day,” said Walker, who left the Air Force in December.

A banana is born

Walker first made what is now packaged as Fronana after packing on the pounds during Air Force pilot school in 2011. The culprits were too much pizza and downing too many beers, he said.

“I decided to live a healthier lifestyle,” he said.

He started on the paleo diet (based on foods the cavemen ate) — no grains, dairy, refined sugar, salt, legumes or processed oils.

Walker, whose Air Force career switched from flight to behavioral science, embraced the banana.

“I put on my science pants and Bill Nye (The Science Guy) bow tie and discovered some special things about bananas,” he said.

The result was Fronana.

He made it for himself and friends before deciding to make it a business.

What’s next

Even thought it is not ice cream, the sherbet-like treat is making Walker’s customers scream — and he wants to expand his business.

He’s applied to Activated Spaces Pop-Up Project.

That project pairs business owners and entrepreneurs with downtown property owners with first-floor storefront space.

Walker also launched a Kickstarter campaign that aims to raise $25,000 for kitchen equipment. Click here to watch Walker’s pitch.

Right now, he is making pints of Fronana with his Ninja blender.

“We are going to find a place in Dayton,” Walker said. “I love Dayton. We are going to stick around a little bit to see if it goes.”