Best Ice Cream In Utah – (Leigh Hogsten | Salt Lake Tribune) A berry savory cone topped with vanilla ice cream served in a waffle cone with strawberries and golden graham cereal. Spilled Milk Food Truck offers soft serve ice cream made with your favorite Saturday breakfast cereals including Fruity Pebbles, Cap’n Crunch, Apple Jacks, Ridge Puffs, Cookie Crisp and Golden Graham.
Whether Jacob Goodfellow spends his summer days swimming in the pool or biking with friends in his northern Virginia town, they often get the same result at a soft-serve ice cream parlor.
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Years later, when the Goodfellows returned home with then-fiancé and now-wife Madeleine, their first stop was a soft-serve ice cream stand. And when the couple began dreaming of opening their own ice cream parlor in Utah, the Virginia store became a training ground for learning how to make rich, smooth soft serve ice cream.
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Now they own and operate Williams Dairy Bar in Provo. Named after their son, the store opened in May and is the latest addition to Utah’s small but growing premium soft serve market.
As of 2017, BuzzFeed named Auntie Ray’s Dessert Island in Utah as the best soft serve in Utah, nearly a decade after the frozen treat became a nationwide trend, at least three specialty soft serve ice cream establishments have opened in the state. These include: regular ice cream, whipped milk ice cream and cereal bars, and Williams Dairy Bars.
Cloud Ninth Creamery, Ginger Street and The Churro Company offer airy confections, among other treats and desserts.
This modern business benefits from drive-in and drive-thru outlets such as Arctic Circle, Dairy Keen and Iceberg Drive In. It was here that Utahns and generations of other Americans first tasted the sweet taste of the signature spin.
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In fact, Utah ice cream makers say nostalgia is why they started their business and why soft serve can beat other trends.
They also say that soft serve ice cream is the best ice cream in the market because it has more flexibility than other types of ice cream.
(Courtesy of Kerry Fukui | Simple Ice Cream) Simple Ice Cream owner Alexa Norlin poses inside the store near 900 South and 200 East.
Alexa Norlin, who owns Normal Ice Cream, said one of the reasons she started the business was because she was tired of “too cold” drive-thru soft serve. That’s all she got.
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Ironically, Norlin, who is lactose intolerant, says, “The only place I can get soft serve ice cream in town is at Nielsen’s.” “But it’s not soft serve, it’s frozen custard.”
Spilled Milk owners Marvin and Sarah Phillips say their family enjoys getting creative with homemade ice cream.
“We’ve always been a fan of mixing ice cream with cereal,” says Marvin Phillippe. “…and we’ve found a way to do that with soft serve ice cream. Instead of [just] putting the ice cream on the outside, we add it inside.”
“He likes a cone with chocolate ice cream, sprinkles and topped with a cherry…”I’m sure it will evolve over time, but this is his favorite setup.”
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(Leigh Hogston | Salt Lake Tribune) Spilled Milk employees Amon Kaufusi (left) and Gardner Folau serve soft serve cones and shakes at the corner of 1700 South and 900 East. Spilled Milk Food Truck offers soft serve ice cream made with your favorite Saturday breakfast cereals including Fruity Pebbles, Cap’n Crunch, Apple Jacks, Ridge Puffs, Cookie Crisp and Golden Graham.
Invented in the 1930s, soft serve ice cream contains less milk fat and more air than regular ice cream. They are also produced at different temperatures. All factors affect taste, texture and appearance. But vendors say soft serve has an edge over regular ice cream because of its convenience.
Norlin, who worked as a baker before opening Normal, said soft serve ice cream can be considered almost like a dessert plate, and the ice cream mix has the same temperature and texture.
“The most important aspect of taste is texture. Texture is more important than taste. And if there is a temperature difference it will show it.
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Goodfellow and Marvin Phillips agree. Ice cream and some soft serve can feel limited and too traditional, says Philip. Mixins and toppings can add a variety of textures to soft serve ice cream, such as the crunchy texture of cereal or candy. “The options are really limitless depending on how people enjoy it,” Goodfellow said.
Williams Dairy Bar offers 10 flavors, including black cherry and pistachio, and more than 24 toppings, such as toasted coconut and brownie dough. Goodfellows cycle through a few concoctions, from cookie butter to banana, at least once a week.
“A lot of people are really hesitant about [bananas],” Goodfellow says, adding that people don’t like artificial flavors. So he bought fresh bananas, peeled them and pickled them in an ice cream mixture. “…and it looked like a real banana and people were amazed.”
Spilled Milk offers seven signature flavors, all starting with vanilla soft serve and flavored with green matcha, cinnamon brown sugar or coconut.
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Marvin Phillip says their most popular products are Over the Rainbow, including Fruity Pebbles, Capon Crunch, Lucky Charms Marshmallows, Airheads Extremes and Orange Dream Cones.
“It’s definitely popular with kids. A lot of kids love it, but a lot of adults love it,” says Sara Phillip.
General products are different at each location. The store focuses on more traditional flavors like the ever-present chocolate and vanilla, with monthly rotations like earl grey, peach and olive oil.
Now called Lab, the truck features experimental combinations like mascarpone soft serve with tomato jam and rotates monthly.
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Norlin says he likes to make soft serve ice cream and toppings that people have never heard of. However, he admits that he has tempered his emotions somewhat.
“I think we have to try, that’s the hardest part,” he said. “…I want to earn your trust.”
(Leah Hogston | Salt Lake Tribune) An orange dream cone topped with rainbow, cereal and a tart sugar ribbon topped with vanilla ice cream topped with milk, fruit pebbles and Capon Crunch cereal. Spilled Milk Food Truck offers soft serve ice cream with your favorite Saturday breakfast cereal.
The market for normal and skimmed milk appears to be filling up quickly, but there are still some gaps in the market, Norlin said.
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Since opening in 2017, Norlin’s has established regular trucks at Trolley Plaza, opened stores near 900 South and 200 East, and partnered with restaurants and retailers. He also started a regular pint club and a dessert workshop.
Since opening the first sprinkled milk truck in Sugar House in June 2019, Phillips has expanded to five trucks across Utah and plans to open brick-and-mortar stores at 900 East and 900 South locations in Salt Lake City later this year.
Meanwhile, Goodfellow said Williams Dairy Bar has been difficult to open during the COVID-19 pandemic, but business is doing well.
People buy soft serve ice cream for the same reason confectioners start their companies. Because I love soft serve ice cream and it reminds me of my childhood memories. And buy regular, skimmed milk and Williams Dairy Bars. That’s because these stores offer high-quality products and great service, the owners say.
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“I always tell myself that we can do whatever we want without excuses because we have great customer service and impeccable products,” says Norlin. “You know, everybody fails some days, but we really work for it.”
The Phillips family also says the spilled milk experience was important to them. They want customers to enjoy all their senses: the taste of their soft serve ice cream, the look of their signature cones, and the music playing from their truck.
Sarah Phillips likes to hand out cones to customers and see their reactions. “Serving ice cream is the best business,” he says “Because I see people happy.”
“There’s something magical about it,” he said. “My favorite moment is always the kids coming here. When we cover these beautiful cones in their hands with sprinkles, they light up. And it brings me back to when I went through it as a kid and it was really special for my son to go through it too.
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Soft serve ice cream parlors also offer items like milkshakes.