Cake + Ice Cream, A Match Made in Heaven

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Is there anything better than dessert at the end of a romantic date? We don’t think so. So, surprise that special someone and pair a great homemade ice cream with a moist and fluffy cake, and you are in lover’s heaven. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, we have compiled a few of our favorite combinations for you to try!

A Twist on Strawberry Shortcake

The first is combining our School’s Out Strawberry with a light and fluffy Angel Food Cake. Add our delicious strawberry ice cream and blueberries to your fluffy, delicate cake. School’s Out Strawberry is made with California strawberries and adds the perfect pop of “love-ly” color, so it is a perfect addition to your celebrations.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and relationships, now if your sweety loves those chocolate sandwich cookies with cream in the middle, there is nothing better than a cookie’s and cream ice cream cake. Use our Local Yodeler’s Cookies n’ Cream ice cream for your next homemade ice cream cake. The base is our velvety vanilla ice cream and is filled with chunks of cookies.

Tart and Sweet

Sometimes, opposites attract, so that’s why we suggest a sweet and sour pairing. Put Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean with a lemon or coconut cake. Our vanilla flavor comes from Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, so it would go perfect with any cake, but why not give it a fruity twist.

Feelin’ Adventurous

If you are looking to impress your “main squeeze” with a delicious cake and amazing ice cream, we have a few suggestions for you, the adventurous date. You could pair a German chocolate cake with our Blue Door Butter Pecan. Our sweet and salty pecan filled craft ice cream makes a decadent and unique pair with the coconut, chocolate, and pecans of the German chocolate. Another fun pairing is a white chocolate mint cake with our Doo Dah Mint ‘N Chip. The rich white chocolate with the decadent dark chocolate and fresh mint is a unique combo that will make everyone happy. The best part of our Doo Dah Mint ‘N Chip is there is no added green food coloring, and we use real mint leaves. In fact, you can see those little mint pieces if you look closely at your ice cream!

So, this Valentine’s Day, surprise your loved one with something delicious. We hope you try one of our ice cream and cake combinations. Let us know how it goes when you do! If you’re interested in any of our other craft ice cream flavors, you can check them out here!

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Locally-Made Ice Cream Economy

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Locally-Made

“Locally-Made” and “Buy local” are big buzz phrases these days. But, why is this important?

Simple: If a dollar leaves the community, it can take a long time for it to work its way back—if it manages to do so at all. And if there are fewer dollars in the community, that’s fewer ice cream cones for everyone.

Not the way we want to live.

When you shop for locally-made products, the dollar you spend goes to a fellow community member, who may turn around and spend it on a product or service you provide. It’s a really lovely cycle of support and abundance within the community.

That makes it our mission not only to spend where we are, but to create where we are. To offer a local option for the community.

So that’s what we do.

Our craft ice cream is made right here on the beautiful California Central Coast. When you buy a scoop or a pint of that Harmony Chapel Chocolate, for example, you might be thinking only of taste bud indulgence. But beyond your tastebuds,  you have set off a lovely butterfly effect: enjoying a local ice cream promotes the local economy, which comes back to benefit members of the community.

And while you might have to make a short drive to a local grocer or to find the Scoop Truck, you might have prevented a giant truck from traveling all the way across the country to deliver a cold treat.

So that means, eat more local, craft ice cream to save the planet and help the community thrive! Seems reasonable. It’s an idea whose time has come.

When you’re ready to do your part, visit a local store, or the Scoop Truck in Harmony, currently open weekends from 12-4pm! You can also find our truck at the San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Markets every Thursday in downtown SLO. “Shop local” now extends beyond meats and vegetables and into everyone’s favorite food group: ice cream. Contact us if you’re wondering where to find the Scoop Truck or a local pint carrying retail store, or if you have any questions about our local ice cream flavors.

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Why I Stopped Buying Low-Calorie Ice Cream

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You may have some New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier or lose weight, but, before you buy that low-calorie ice cream… read this article from The Daily Meal:

(via The Daily Meal)

Now, though, there are a myriad of other factors interfering in your choices. How many calories does this pint have? Should I stop eating dairy? What about sugar? This one has protein!

No longer are simple thoughts like “Ooh! Chocolate chip cookie dough!” followed by a quick toss into your cart. The aisle has smacked you in the face with another, more complicated form of marketing: guilt.

I used to buy into this tactic — I’d opt for the diet-friendly pints and expect satisfaction when I ate each spoonful of watered-down dessert. I was promised salvation in the form of guilt-free indulgence. Sweets without consequences. Indulgence without the risk. Diet ice cream almost sounded too good to be true! But it was a real product!

But when I actually ate the ice cream, my experience was wholly different. At first, I felt righteous in my choice. I sat down in front of the TV, opened the pint, and dug in without hesitation. I didn’t get nervous about fats and sugars I was putting into my body. I didn’t anxiously review the nutrition facts and serving sizes like I’d been taught to by all the health and diet information I’d read online. What a relief — right? But in real time, it didn’t feel that way.

Each bite was seriously unsatisfying compared to a bite of the full-fat, sugary stuff I was used to eating. I finished half the pint and put it away, realizing that I didn’t want any more. Also strange was that my craving for dense, milky ice cream hadn’t gone away.

Instead of eating a small bowl of sugar, cream, and chocolate (always my choice for a mix-in), I’d consumed a much more voluminous portion of zero-calorie sweeteners, diluted cream, and protein powder. Blech. My stomach wasn’t happy with me. And I still craved more sugar.

But I kept on with the trend. I figured I’d adapt — that my taste buds were just “addicted” and conned into thinking they needed sugar and cream to feel satisfied.

More of my grocery budget was going toward dessert than ever before. I found myself thinking about portions and limits on how much of my low-cal ice cream I “could” eat that day; when I bought the normal stuff, I’d just scoop a bit into a bowl whenever I wanted it. I didn’t fly through containers of ice cream very quickly at all; it was rarely even on my mind.

Instead of the guilt-free experience I’d been promised, I felt more guilt, became more obsessed, and felt more crazed by my cravings than ever.

As a health writer and fitness instructor, I’ve spent a lot of time understanding and learning about dieting and psychology. After some contemplation, I think I know what was going on.

First of all, I wasn’t actually satisfying my sugar craving with the low-calorie pint. You just can’t replace the real stuff. That’s why many so-called healthy swaps don’t actually work. That’s the problem with zoodles. I mean, who has ever felt the same sense of satisfaction after eating zucchini as they have after pasta? It’s the same with ice cream.

I was just adding additional foods to my diet that weren’t what I really wanted. As a result, I was stuffing my body with additives and fake sugar that were messing with my digestion, making me super thirsty, and left me with an odd aftertaste when I could have just eaten a reasonable amount of sugar and felt fantastic.

But more importantly, every time I “treated myself” to dessert, the fact that I was dieting was on my mind. I was making decisions about food based on fears I had — about putting on weight, about fueling an addiction to sugar, about the weight I could be losing — instead of what my body was telling me it wanted. I was making my appearance more important than my happiness. As a result, I found myself actually feeling more insecure.

That’s right: I felt better about my body eating full-fat dessert than I did eating something diet-friendly.

Of course, this is just my experience — but from what I know about nutrition and health, a pint of low-calorie ice cream isn’t much better for you than a single serving of the good stuff.

Now that I’ve switched back to regular ice cream, I’ll never go back. Not only do I feel physically better, but I’m also far less preoccupied with cravings, nutrition numbers, and serving sizes. Now, I’m actually guilt-free when I eat dessert. So instead of fretting over the consequences of carbs and calories, you might want to consider the consequences of eating a diet-friendly dessert that promises to satisfy.

Holly Van Hare is the Healthy Eating Editor at The Daily Meal with a passion for podcasting and peanut butter. You can listen to her podcast Nut Butter Radio on iTunes and follower her health food Instagram @eating_peanut_better.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED on JUNE 28, 2018: https://www.thedailymeal.com/healthy-eating/never-buy-low-calorie-ice-cream

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New Year’s Eve Ice Cream Cocktail Recipes

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What’s more decadent than a New Year’s cocktail? One made with a scoop of delicious, creamy Harmony Valley Ice Cream! Combine two favorites in the following boozy New Year’s Eve ice cream dessert cocktails:

Strawberry Prosecco Float

Make your next toast a little sweeter! In 4 glasses, divide up 1 pint of mixed berries. Scoop School’s Out Strawberry ice cream into each glass. Fill the remainder with dry Prosecco. If you’re feeling extra sweet, garnish the rim of each glass with sugar and edible glitter.

Chocolate Mudslide Shake

Kick dessert up a notch with a bit of booze! In a blender, add 2 tablespoons of chocolate milk, 1 pint Harmony Chapel Chocolate ice cream, 1 oz. of vodka, 1 oz. of Irish Cream, and 2 oz. coffee liqueur. Pour the mixture into a milkshake glass with a straw. Garnish with chocolate sprinkles, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry on top – and don’t forget to share!

White Russian Float

Take two classic flavors and give them a delicious twist. Add 1 shot of vodka and 1 shot of coffee liqueur to a low-ball tumbler. Top with a scoop of Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla ice cream – if you’re looking for another twist, top with cinnamon or some orange zest!

Dirty Banana Shake

Everything about this boozy shake is “a-peel-ing!” Add 1 shot of rum, Blue Door Butter Pecan ice cream and banana liqueur to a blender and pulse until creamy. Pour into a milkshake glass and garnish with crushed pecans and flambeed bananas, if you’re feeling fancy.

Cookies and Cream-tini

Want a sweeter version of a martini? Blend a scoop of Local Yodelers Cookies and Cream, whipped cream vodka, and chocolate liqueur together. Garnish the rim of a martini glass with crushed Oreo crumbs, and pour in your concoction.

The Modern Grasshopper

A Grasshopper is a minty drink originating from New Orleans – made all the better with Harmony Valley Ice Cream! Blend 1 scoop of Doo Dah Mint N’ Chip,1 shot cognac, 1 shot rum, 1/2 ounce creme de cacao, 2 dashes mint bitters and 2 dashes chocolate bitters. Pour into a martini glass and add mint sprigs for garnish.

Wishing you a safe and happy New Year’s Eve from all of us here at Harmony Valley Creamery! For more information on our signature flavors, and where to find them, click here. And, please, drink responsibly!

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Fascinating Facts About Ice Cream

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Need a break from holiday shopping, fa-la-la-la-la-ing and too much tinsel!? Well, maybe “veg out” on these fascinating facts about ice cream while you procrastinate on whether to buy the red sweater or the blue sweater for Aunt Janice…

Special thanks to IceCream.com for sharing this sweet ice cream knowledge with us:

  • Only one country consumes more ice cream per capita than the United States: New Zealand. (It’s time to grab a scoop and do your part to put us over the cherry on top!)
  • The Ancient Greeks were enjoying an ice-cream like dessert way back in the fifth century B.C. We wish we could time travel so they could taste today’s local ice cream flavors. Advanced ice cream technology has surely improved upon their primitive treat.
  • In the 1700s, ice cream came to this country and was enjoyed by members of high society. We understand why they wouldn’t want to share, but still, that was lame of them not to spread the ice cream joy to everyone.
  • It took almost 200 years for someone to wise up and invent the ice cream sundae. (Pretty sure that’s the first thing we would have thought of.)
  • 20 percent of people share their ice cream with their pets. Nothing says unconditional love like giving up a few spoonfuls of your favorite craft ice cream flavor.
  • For perfect scooping, the ice cream should be between 6 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The most popular flavor in the United States is vanilla! We understand: our Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean is rich and creamy, and it provides the perfect clean slate for any number of topping combinations.
  • The world’s tallest ice cream cone was built in Italy; it towered above nine feet. The only excuse we have for not beating this record is because we’re eating our scoops before they get a chance to pile up.
  • California produces the most ice cream in this country, and Harmony Valley Creamery is proud to be a part of that great contribution!

If you’re have any questions about craft ice cream in California, contact us any time. We’re always happy to chat about our favorite food. Oh, and Happy Holidays from all of us here at Harmony Valley Creamery!

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Pie and Ice Cream Pairings for Thanksgiving!

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It’s that time of year again – Thanksgiving! And no Thanksgiving meal would be complete without dessert! Pie is a quintessential American tradition, and a must on Thanksgiving. But, in order to step it up a notch, what is better than pie a la mode, especially when that ice cream is made by Harmony Valley Creamery? Now, we know Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean goes with any pie, so below we have some more adventurous ideas. Continue reading for some great pie and ice cream pairings for Thanksgiving!

  1. Pecan Pie and Harmony Chapel Chocolate. This is heavenly. The flavor of the nuts and cinnamon with chocolate are out of this world.
  2. Peanut Butter Pie and Local Yodelers Cookies N’ Cream. Have you ever had peanut butter pie? No? Do me a favor and google it right now! You won’t regret putting these two amazing tastes together!
  3. Cheesecake and Blue Door Butter Pecan. We all know cheesecake has a misleading name – why it is the most pie-y cake there is! So, try these two classics together and you won’t be disappointed.
  4. Lemon Meringue Pie and School’s Out Strawberry. Any lemon meringue pie fans out there? This is a fruity delicious pairing that can stand up to the best of them!
  5. Brownie Pie and Doo Dah Mint N’ Chip. Chocolate and mint? Yes. Brownie as a pie? Double yes.
  6. Apple Pie and Shoreline Salted Swirl Caramel. Its like a caramel apple. Need we say more? Shoreline Salted Swirl Caramel is a Scoop Truck exclusive so you may want to bring your own apple pie to Harmony. The Scoop Truck is open Saturday and Sunday in Harmony from 12pm – 4pm.
  7. Pumpkin Pie and Cowtown Coffee Bean. We have all heard of pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream, but what about pumpkin pie and coffee? Trust us, it is delicious. Think PSL, but better! Now, since Cowtown Coffee Bean is a Scoop Truck exclusive, this will take a little planning ahead, but we know you can do it! The Scoop Truck is open Saturday and Sunday in Harmony from 12pm – 4pm.

No matter how you like to celebrate this holiday, make sure you have pie AND ice cream! For more information on where to get our ice cream, click here.

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History of Ice Cream

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historyWhere in the world did Ice Cream come from? Who invented it? How long has it been around? You could probably ask everybody in your neighborhood and nobody would know the real answer! In fact, you might get a zillion different answers! How far does ice cream go back? The 1900s? The 1800s? The 1700s? Well read on for a little history of ice cream….

Some say that ice cream may go back as far as 200BC! Imagine that! There are stories that say the ancient Chinese would make a frozen ice cream type dessert by mixing snow with milk and rice. As you can probably imagine, more than likely this concoction tasted nothing like modern ice cream does today, but that was possibly a beginning for ice cream.

And in the 50AD, and as the story goes, Nero Claudius Caesar became obsessed with a version of ice cream and would literally send runners up into the mountains to bring back piles of snow. They were known to flavor this snow with honey, juices and fruit.

Then fast forward to the 13th Century when Marco Polo returned to Italy from the Far East with a recipe for a special frozen milk dessert. This new frozen delight was actually the beginning of modern sherbet ice cream.

Some time in the 1560’s there is evidence that suggests that the people of that time were eating a frozen dessert that was made from milk sweetened with sugar. So this is about as close as you can get to the origin of real ice cream as we know it today. Well, there you have it, the history of ice cream!

Now the Udderly Awesome Craft Ice Cream at the Harmony Valley Creamery would probably blow the socks off of the Ancient Chinese or Marco Polo’s ice cream! Ice Cream has really come a long way since 200BC. Now that you know the history of ice cream, consider yourself a little bit smarter. And the next time you’re enjoying a nice big bowl of Harmony Valley Creamery’s signature flavors, such as Local Yodelers Cookies ‘N Cream or School’s Out Strawberry just think about how lucky you are that you’re not having to eat a bowl of snow!

And feel free to contact the friendly staff at Harmony Valley Creamery, should you have any questions, but make sure you’re brushed up on your ice cream history, you never know when they may give you a pop quiz!

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HVC’s Newest Flavor: Shoreline Swirl Salted Caramel

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By now you know that Harmony Valley Creamery strives to create the best craft ice cream around. Unlike giant commercial operations, we don’t churn out flavors (see what we did there?!) without making sure they reach our high expectations for taste, quality and our commitment to using local products. With that in mind, we are proud to introduce the newest flavor to make the cut: Shoreline Swirl Salted Caramel! And, it is just in time for Halloween!

Introduced to US palates in the late 1990s, salted caramel gained a devoted following. The flavor, which originated in France, was initially embraced by local foodies. It didn’t take long for the irresistible combination of sweet and salty to gain momentum, resulting in its meteoric rise as the demand for salted caramel-flavored treats grew. Many places rushed through the process, quickly bringing salted caramel products to market. For that reason, America quickly discovered that not all salted caramel products are created equal. That’s why Harmony Valley Creamery took our time, carefully crafting a product we are proud to serve and you will be delighted to eat! Our Shoreline Swirl Salted Caramel has swirls of sweet, buttery caramel, bits of toffee crunch and flaked sea salt. Wow.

We are excited to be offering Shoreline Swirl Salted Caramel exclusively at the Scoop Truck. Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy our newest flavor:

  • We all love a caramel apple, well how about apple drizzled with our Shoreline Swirl Salted Caramel ice cream for fall? Yes, we are drooling, too!
  • Coffee too strong? Don’t toss it! Chill it in the refrigerator, then mix it in a high-powered blender along with a large dollop of Shoreline Swirl Salted Caramel and a cup of ice. This is the kind frozen drink dreams are made of!
  • Make your own 3-scoop sundae! We’ve found Shoreline Swirl Salted Caramel ice cream pairs especially well with Harmony Chapel Chocolate and Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean.

Ready to track down some Shoreline Swirl Salted Caramel? Just stop by our Scoop Truck in Harmony, CA, open every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 4pm! Contact us to find out when you will be able to snag your own pint in stores!

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Favorite Wine and Ice Cream Pairings for Fall

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favorite wine and ice cream pairingsSometimes you need to treat yourself and, in our opinion, ice cream and wine together are the most decadent way to celebrate. Don’t insult a fancy bottle of wine with just any ice cream! Pair it eloquently with a scoop of Harmony Valley Craft Ice Cream. Here are six of our favorite wine and ice cream pairings:

School’s Out Strawberry and Rosé

If your favorite color is pink, you’re in luck – rosé wines pairs perfectly with Harmony Valley School’s Out Strawberry! And while rosé may be a “summer wine,” we all know on the Central Coast, September is still summer! While red wine is made by fermenting grapes with the skins on, rosé wine is stained pink by fermenting the grapes with their skins on for only part of the process. Rosé has flavors like strawberry, honeydew, citrus and rose petal – an excellent pairing with the fruitiness of strawberry ice cream.

Harmony Chapel Chocolate and Port

When the weather does start to change, what goes better with chocolate than more chocolate? Pair port, a dessert wine with notes of chocolate, caramel and berries with Harmony Chapel Chocolate ice cream! Originally from Portugal, port was traditionally made by people stomping on grapes with their bare feet. These days, most wineries use machines with mechanical “feet” instead of manual laborers. Top Harmony Chapel Chocolate ice cream with fresh berries to bring out all of port’s flavorful notes.

Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla and Riesling

Vanilla is a blank canvas – it can pair with almost anything! However, our favorite wine to pair with Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean ice cream is Riesling. Riesling, originally from Germany, contains flavors of lemon, lime, pineapple and apricots. Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla, with it’s sweet creamy flavor of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, is a perfect compliment to Riesling’s sweetness. Top your ice cream with ginger or cinnamon for a heavenly combination!

Blue Door Butter Pecan and Chardonnay

Chardonnay became one of the most popular wines in the world because it’s buttery flavor – pair it with a scoop of Blue Door Butter Pecan! Chardonnay is made with a method called malolactic fermentation – which gives the wine a “butteriness”. Less ripe Chardonnay will have flavors of lemon and apple. More ripe Chardonnay will have more tropical fruit flavors, like pineapple and mango. Both varieties are a perfect compliment to Blue Door Butter Pecan ice cream.

Local Yodelers Cookies ‘n Cream and Sauvignon Blanc

Pair Sauvignon Blanc with Local Yodeler’s Cookies ‘n Cream. Sauvignon Blanc is known for it’s bitter acidity and low amounts of sugar. It has herbal notes and is reminiscent of limes, apricots and peaches. It’s an excellent contrast to the velvety sweetness of  Local Yodeler’s Cookies ‘n Cream’s.

Doo Dah Mint ‘n Chip and Syrah

Syrah is the perfect match for Doo Dah Mint ‘n Chip ice cream! Syrah was brought by the French to Australia in the 1830’s – where they call it “Shiraz”. It’s one of the darkest red wines on the market and has flavors of berries, olive and pepper. It contains flavors of chocolate and mint – which make Doo Dah Mint ‘n Chip the perfect compliment. Syrah is also full of antioxidants – so you can feel a little less guilty about indulging.

Well, there you have it, now go out there and indulge!

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Three Reasons Craft Ice Cream is Better

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craft ice cream is betterIn a cup or in a cone, with friends or alone, there is no doubt that ice cream is one of America’s favorite treats.  You may have heard of craft beer, but did you know about craft ice cream? Craft ice cream stands out from its large-scale production cousins for a few reasons. Here are three reasons craft ice cream is better.

Exciting flavors

Artisan craft ice cream makers find flavor inspiration everywhere! Flavors can range from sweet to savory and will often change with the season based on availability of ingredients. Craft ice cream is made in small batches so if you see something that piques your interest make sure you try it before it’s gone! Harmony Valley Creamery features six signature flavors including the traditional chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and comfort favorites like cookies’n’cream, butter pecan and mint chocolate chip.

Focus on quality

Artisan ice cream makers frequently source local ingredients for their products in order to ensure the highest quality.  We pride ourselves on using fresh, natural California ingredients.  Since our ingredients do not have to travel far, they are fresher and in turn, lead to a better tasting ice cream.  You can also count on us skipping artificial flavors and preservatives found in many brand name ice creams, making our ice cream an all natural choice you can feel good about.

Supporting local businesses

Craft creameries are usually businesses staffed by a small team of passionate and dedicated individuals. We are proud to say that Harmony Valley Creamery is family owned and operated! When you purchase craft ice cream, you are not only supporting the local economy but you are supporting our dream to craft extraordinary dairy products, preserve our heritage, and be stewards to our neighbors, customers, and our planet. Supporting your business community while eating delicious creamy frozen treats is a win-win situation!

And, with anything, you get what you pay for. Sometimes, craft ice creams cost a little more cash, but in the end, the product is fresher, tastier and just plain better, and we would say worth it! We obviously love craft ice cream but don’t take our word for it.  If you haven’t experienced our craft ice cream yet, try it for yourself! Our signature flavors include Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean, Schools Out Strawberry, Blue Door Butter Pecan, and more.  You can buy our pints at these locations, or check out our  Scoop Truck, open every weekend from 12pm – 4pm in sunny Harmony, CA!

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