Ice Cream and Creemees
I'm just back from a 7.5 mile bicycle trek. My goal was to get some good exercise in a fun way. And as a reward for all my efforts, my trip had to include a stop for ice cream. Is that snickering I hear?
Yes, I love ice cream and consider myself a connoisseur. My first memory getting ice cream from a scoop shop was when I was 6 or 7 years old and it was from a Baskin-Robbins. That's where I learned about "samples". And that's how I got hooked on pralines and cream. You can probably imagine that a child that young who appreciates pralines and cream really has a palate for ice cream.
My first real job was my dream job! I worked at an ice cream shop and I mastered my craft quickly. Even at 16-years old, the owner would leave me to run the shop alone on weekday afternoons. I took my responsibilities seriously and found that quality control was my forte. That was my favorite part of the job!
I can only imagine that with my upcoming high school graduation, the owners felt they had no choice but to sell the shop knowing that I was going away to college. (That's what I tell myself.) The new owner was putting in his own ice cream shop in our shop's place. The new owner was......drum roll, please..... the first Ben & Jerry's franchisee!
In preparation for the new owner's business and before the business changed hands, he would come in to work with me to get a feel for the ice cream profession. How cool is that?!? Of course when I returned to the shop after it was converted to a Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop, it looked nothing like my ice cream shop and they certainly didn't do anything like we did. I was disappointed that my mark didn't show, but I still hold the glory knowing I was the first trainer for a Ben & Jerry's franchise!
Now back to my "bicycle story" (isn't that how this post started?). We are in Ben & Jerry's territory but you aren't going to find a scoop shop in the Champlain islands. When you're here and if you have the time I certainly would recommend a trip over to Waterbury to visit the Ben & Jerry's Factory. Although I do adore their ice cream, you will find other sources to please your taste buds all within 9 miles of our vacation rental homes. Four of the five I'm going to tell you about are within 5 miles. My gist is...you can have ice cream or a creemee within minutes if the mood strikes you!
I've mentioned "creemee" and it occurs to me that not everyone may be familiar with the term. In other places, you might hear this cold treat called "soft serve". A creemee, or creemie, is dispensed from a machine into a cup or cone in a spiral fashion, getting narrower towards the peak. Oftentimes these machines hold 2 flavors that can be served separately or twisted together in a single cup or cone. (Don't I sound like the expert!?!?!)
Here's my list of local ice cream/creemee stops and what you'll find there:
- Kim's Snackbar - About 3.5 miles south of us on US RT 2. Kim's doesn't sell hard ice cream and only sells two creemee flavors - chocolate, vanilla and the two swirled together. But you can have a creemee with sprinkles/jimmies, in a float or as the base for your sundae or banana boat too. They have hot fudge, pineapple, caramel and strawberry sundae toppings. Kim's also sells milkshakes - chocolate, vanilla, mocha, coffee, strawberry, raspberry and creamsicle. I've never had one of their milkshakes but I'm guessing that they are creemee-based.
- The Outhouse - About 2.5 miles south of us on US RT 2. They have business hours Thursday-Sunday. The Outhouse only sells hard ice cream from Kingdom Creamery of Vermont. Their sundae toppings include hot fudge, peanut butter and maple! Their float flavors include creamsicle.
- A&B - About 2.5 miles south of us on US RT 2. The owner of A&B bought Island Homemade Ice Cream a couple of years ago. The ice cream is produced just a couple of doors away from A&B. Island Ice Cream is sold in pint containers in A&B. A&B also sets up a stand outside the store on weekends to sell scoops! I'm not sure if they have a consistent schedule. Just know if you have that hankering for maple bacon or pink grapefruit Island Homemade Ice Cream, you can always grab a pint in the store. They also sell all the delectable toppings that you can take back with you so you can build your own creations. Because the ice cream pints are block hard frozen, I always put the container in the microwave for 10 seconds so I can scoop it out at home. FYI, pink grapefruit ice cream is really, really good!
- Hero's Welcome - About 4.5 miles north of us in North Hero on US RT 2. The store is open every day so I expect that the ice cream counter is open every day. The ice cream area is well hidden. It's directly across the store from the deli and only manned if there are customers. They have creemees and they have hard ice cream. It's been a while since I got my fix there so I can't tell you if there are more than chocolate and vanilla creemees or the brand of ice cream they sell. I don't know if they offer any toppings either. But if you're there to enjoy a deli creation for lunch, you might as well grab a cone before you leave!
- Seb's Snack Bar - About 9 miles (15 minutes) south of us in South Hero on US RT 2. Seb's sells Hershey's hard ice cream and 4 flavors of creemee - chocolate & vanilla and black raspberry & maple. The flavors joined with an ampersand can be twisted together in a single cone or cup. The list of Hershey's flavors they sell is incredible! My favorite Hershey's flavor is cappuchino crunch. You need to be aware that Seb's prices are a little steeper, but their serving sizes are huge! Common sense would indicate that you should share...but I really don't think common sense has anything to do with ice cream! Seb's has sundaes and shakes and jimmies and chocolate dip. I absolutely love maple creemee dipped in chocolate! This is why Seb's, although 9 miles away, is on my "list"!
If you find that you just adore Hershey's ice cream, you can buy it packaged at Keeler Bay Variety Store which is about 10 minutes south of our vacation rental homes. Put it this way, you'll pass Keeler Bay Store on your way back from Seb's.
That's my short list. There are other ice cream and creemee options if you head further north through the Islands or south off the Islands, but my guess is that you won't make it that far without stopping at one of these places first!
By the way, my bicycle trek reward today was a small chocolate and vanilla twist creemee at Kim's snackbar.