Harmony flavors the summer by dishing out ice cream

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The Harmony milk truck serves up ice cream at last year’s California Mid-State Fair. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The Harmony milk truck serves up ice cream at last year’s California Mid-State Fair. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

It’s always the season for ice cream, but that’s especially true in summertime. So, Harmony Valley Creamery’s vintage ice cream truck is stocked with the tiny town’s trademark dessert.  Read More.

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July is Ice Cream Month. Let’s Celebrate!

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ice cream conesWhile July might be known for fireworks, beaches and BBQ’s, there’s one reason in particular we at Harmony Valley Creamery are especially excited about this extraordin-dairy month.

It’s National Ice Cream Month!

President Ronald Reagan declared July as National Ice Cream Month in 1984. That’s not all though, as he also named July 16 as National Ice Cream Day. How cool is that? If there was ever an excuse to chill during the summer, this is the best one yet!

It should come as no surprise we’re celebrating with our six signature flavors all month, and we’re encouraging you to do the same. July 1st is Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day. While we like to think the reason our craft ice cream flavors are creative is that they’ve all been approved by our very own Mayor Freddy, the big cat in charge, others say it’s because of our fresh, natural California ingredients. Either way, there are plenty of ways to consider concocting your own creamy, and udderly awesome flavors with our own flavors. Perhaps an Ice Cream Soda is in order.

If that’s not your thing, you can always bust out our ice cream for some DIY ice cream sandwiches. All you need are some cookies, doughnuts, graham crackers or waffles and any (or all) of our small batch flavors, and you’ve got yourself a bea-moo-tifully delicious snack. Or you could celebrate early in the day with some ice cream for breakfast. Why not?

There’s another reason this month has us feeling peachy. Did you know that July 17th is Peach Ice Cream Day? If this flavor is one of your must haves, consider grabbing some peaches (or even some peach pie filling) and topping off our very own Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean vanilla ice cream. Easy-peasy peachy keen-y.

We’re only getting started with our six signature flavors, but look for more fun flavors in the future featured out of our ice cream truck.

Let us know how you’re celebrating National Ice Cream Month on Twitter or contact us to let us know if there’s anything we can do to make this month udderly amazing.

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Where’s the Ice Cream Truck Churning this Summer?

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Ice cream truck

Our 1957 DIVCO Ice Cream Truck aka “Scoop Truck”

Summer’s heating up, but we’ve got you covered: Harmony Valley Creamery‘s ice cream truck will be serving up big ol’ scoops of our udderly awesome craft ice cream on a daily basis in the town of Harmony! You can’t miss us: just look for that 1957 Divco truck. Most of these milk trucks retired before the internet was born, but ours is pursuing a second career as the Scoop Truck, and doing a fine job of it, if we do say so ourselves.

When we’re not in Harmony, you’ll find our ice cream truck roaming around San Luis Obispo County at local festivals and events. Festival-goers need an opportunity to cool down with some Blue Door Butter Pecan or Doo Dah Mint ‘n’ Chip ice cream, too, and we’re glad to help. It’s what we do best.

There are three things you need to do right now to get ready for an ice cream-filled summer:

  1. Follow us on Twitter. That’s where you’ll get the latest scoop on the ice cream truck’s whereabouts.
  2. Come find us. We’ll be the ones with the udderly awesome craft ice cream.
  3. Decide what flavor you want. Or don’t. “One of each, please” is a totally acceptable order.

Summer isn’t summer without a little local ice cream. Oh, who are we kidding? It’s not summer unless you have a lot of ice cream, and we’ll be making our craft ice cream flavors small batch by small batch just as quickly as we can to make sure everyone can enjoy a dreamy ice creamy summer along with us.

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Celebrate National Ice Cream Soda Day!

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Thanksgiving focuses on turkey. Independence Day is all about those fireworks. Ice cream isn’t nearly well-represented enough in the major national holidays. Luckily, National Ice Cream Soda Day helps us make up for it.

Mark your calendars! On June 20, you need to celebrate this ice-creamy day with an ice cream soda of your own. It’s pretty easy:

  • Step One: Poor a little carbonated beverage in a cup.
  • Step Two: Scoop ice cream into cup.
  • Step Three: Top off with carbonated beverage.
  • Step Four: Eat like it’s a holiday! Because it is.

The brilliance of the ice cream soda has been around since 1874, if you can believe it. Robert M. Green, fountain drink vendor and soon-to-be ice cream hero, ran out of cream (or ice, depending on the version of the story you’re reading) for one of the drinks he was offering in Philadelphia, so he had to use ice cream instead. And there the ice cream soda appeared.

The Root Beer Float is, perhaps, the most famous of the ice cream sodas, but don’t let your creativity stop with vanilla ice cream. Celebrate the day with Harmony Valley Creamery! Pick up a pint of our  craft ice cream and make your own celebratory concoction.

We’re thinking maybe a couple of scoops of School’s Out Strawberry with a lemon-lime soda. Or three scoops of Harmony Chapel Chocolate with a cherry cola. However you combine it, you can’t go wrong with craft ice cream in your ice cream soda.

ice cream sodas

From all of us at Harmony Valley Creamery, we wish you a very happy and delicious National Ice Cream Soda Day.

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Dairy Farming In Harmony, CA

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Harmony Valley Creamery Association. Orestes Fabio Degottardi fifth from the right. Photo Courtesy of Paul Hammerschmidt

What do you get when antiquity and artisanry get together? (Okay, okay, “artisanry” isn’t a word but the answer is the same nonetheless.) You get Harmony. For a town that covers only one block and has long boasted a road sign proclaiming a population of 18, Harmony, California is something rather special. Once a thriving dairy mecca and home to a quirky artisan culture, this town has a history and a future worth knowing about.

Harmony’s History of Dairy Farming

Settlers of Swiss-Italian decent made this region their home in the 19th century. The town was founded in 1869 and what is now called Harmony was simply a settlement of several dairy ranches and a creamery. But the creamery was something extraordinarily special! Harmony Valley Dairy Co-Op began in 1901 and employed several people (and cows) to craft and create unbelievably delicious cheese, milk, and butter. The area local William Randolph Hearst (newspaper publisher and renown politician) and his Hollywood friends were known to stop by the itty-bitty town for a taste of their distinct dairy.

The thriving creamery that began in 1901 and had once churned out over 2,000 pounds of cheese per day had its end in 1955. Since then the town has had its ups and downs, sometimes being more desolate than inhabited, but has somehow always remained its quirky, odd self, opening its arms to creative, artistic, history-loving souls.

A Future Inspired By A Past

We at Harmony Valley Creamery have a vision for the future that resembles the charm of its past.  We hope to bring the history that made Harmony so unique back to life again. A micro-dairy would certainly be a progressive move as no dairy farming exists in San Luis Obispo County today. While these plans are still to come and haven’t happened yet, we are hopeful in rejuvenating this historic little central coast town and its neighboring area.

Our future is rooted in our past. We are excited to share our passion and love of the area into a celebration of dairy farming in Harmony, California. Next time you are traveling along the central coast on Highway 1, we hope you will stop by and celebrate the past with us, too!

 

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HVC Ice Cream Truck for your Next Event

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Harmony_w6a8983Food trucks have been cruising around California for a while, and recently, desserts of all kinds have been getting in on the action. After your taco or your sandwich, you need a little something sweet, right? But we don’t think donuts and cupcakes should get to have all the fun.

Harmony Valley Creamery has an original 1957 Divco milk truck that is enjoying its second life as our Scoop Truck! On most weekends, you’ll find us parked in the town of Harmony–just visit our Where’s the Scoop Truck page or follow us on Twitter to find out exactly where we’ll be.

More good news: you can also reserve us just for you and your guests! The only thing better than coming to visit the ice cream truck is inviting it to set up shop right in front of you! It sounds like an ice cream delivery dream, but we make it happen at festivals, fairs, and private events like these:

  • Graduation Receptions
  • Retirement Parties
  • Weddings
  • Anniversary Celebrations
  • Birthdays
  • Holiday Gatherings
  • Family Reunions
  • Company Picnics
  • Open Houses
  • Wine Tastings (Who says you can’t have a wine and ice cream pairing? Do what you want!)

Is our craft ice cream the best ice cream? We think so, but we’ll let you be the judge, mostly because we’re pretty sure you’re going to agree with us.

With a variety of ice cream flavors like Local Yodelers Cookies ‘N’ Cream, Mayor Freddy’s Vanilla Bean, and Harmony Chapel Chocolate, we can make an ice cream cone to suit every taste bud at your party. Invite us to your next event!

Get the whole scoop (or maybe a double) on booking the ice cream truck by sending an email to thescoop@harmonyvalleycreamery.com. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Craft Ice Cream Hits Retail Shelf…

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HVC six pints Signature Flavors

Our craft ice cream has hit a retail shelf and we couldn’t be more giddy!  That’s correct, a single retail shelf.  Our good friends at Soto’s True Earth Market in Cambria, CA is the first retail market to carry our Signature Flavor line of craft ice cream in pints.

Just to kick things off – we will be giving away free mini taster cones on Saturday, March 25th from noon to 2pm out of our vintage Scoop Truck in front of market.  Stop by to enjoy a taster cone, and while you’re at it pick up a pint or two.  Just look for udders in their freezer case.

We’re just getting started, so if you live outside of Cambria, CA be sure to ask you local market to carry our udderly awesome ice cream.

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Cyclone Destroys Madagascar Vanilla Crops

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Madagascar Vanilla Beans

Madagascar Vanilla Beans

Madagascar, renowned for its high quality vanilla, is the world’s leading exporter of the spice, accounting for half of global production.  Cyclone ENAWO struck the island on March 7, 2017, wiping out a significant portion of Madagascar’s vanilla crop. The cyclone made a direct strike on Antalaha and  Sambava, the two largest vanilla producing areas.

Demand and prices for pure vanilla have been increasing in the past few years as food manufacturers including Nestle SA and Hershey Co. shifted from artificial flavoring.

“There will simply not be enough vanilla to meet the world demand,” said Josephine Lochhead, president at Cook Flavoring Co., a century-old buyer in Paso Robles, California. “Vanilla is literally gold.” Reported by Bloomberg Markets.

At Harmony Valley Creamery we never compromise on the quality of our products or the ingredients that we use. We use pure vanilla, and in particular Madagascar vanilla extensively, in our craft ice creams.  Bourbon vanilla beans from Madagascar are superior. Rich, dark and creamy with an overwhelming sweet, buttery aroma.  As a small producer we are already seeing the impact of vanilla price increases.  We will continue monitoring prices, and may need to adjust our prices in order to maintain the superior quality of our craft ice cream that customers have come to love.

Read the full report by Cook’s Flavoring Co. on their blog here.

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Craft Ice Cream: Does BIG Equal Craft?

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When it comes to craft ice cream what brands come to mind? Ben & Jerry’sHäagen-Dazs? Most people imagine those names since they are the third and fourth best selling brands in the U.S. at $465.4 million and $418.8 million respectively. With sales of that magnitude and both brands being owned by multinational corporations…should we or can we consider them craft?
How exactly is craft ice cream defined? We did some online sleuthing in search of answers, but Merriam-WebsterOxford Dictionaries, and Wikipedia all came up with nada. Not to fear, we found clarity from the craft beer industry. The Brewers Association defines craft beer by the following criteria (which we’ve adapted to craft ice cream):
·       Made by small makers in small batches.
·       Innovation is the hallmark.
·       Generally made with traditional ingredients; interesting and sometimes non-traditional ingredients are often added for distinctiveness.
·       Involved in communities through philanthropy, product donations, volunteerism and sponsorship of events.
·       Distinctive, individualistic approaches to connecting with their customers.
·       Maintains integrity in its products and a general independence, free from a substantial interest by a non-craft ice cream.
Based on the above criteria, Harmony Valley Creamery is definitely craft ice cream. And in fact, our fans would say Harmony Valley Creamery is the best craft ice cream! We’re proud to be among a new generation of ice cream makers on the rise who truly take craft to heart. Swing by our small town or follow our Scoop Truck to taste for yourself.

Sources:

Sales of the leading ice cream brands of the U.S. 2016

The World’s Top-Selling Ice Cream Brands

 

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