It’s a hot summer day, you’re enjoying a stroll through Friday Harbor, there’s a festive atmosphere in town; mmmm, ice cream would be a nice treat as you window shop or watch the boats in the harbor. But not just any ice cream; you want the rich, deeply creamy kind; so where do you go?
My unofficial survey of local residents votes Lopez Island Creamery Ice Cream as tops, hands down. It tastes like good, old-fashioned ice cream.
Lopez Island Creamery was started in the mid 1950’s by two women living on Lopez Island. They purchased recipes and a few pieces of equipment, and started learning. As time went by, they created, improved, modified and finally marketed their product when they began selling ice cream cones at nearby fairs and events.
The business steadily grew as the quality of the ice cream became known. Eventually, new owners began widening the market into local scoop shops, grocery stores, and restaurants, while maintaining the superb quality of the original product by using only the best possible ingredients. The cream they use comes from the Pacific Northwest, and the berries are from Skagit Valley.
In 2010 they relocated from Lopez Island to Anacortes, WA on Fidalgo Island, which is part of the San Juan Archipelago. One of the deciding factors in this move was the desire to lessen their carbon footprint by decreasing the number of trips required to transport ingredients and the final products, which significantly cuts back on fuel consumption.
In spite of their broadening market, they still make every batch by hand, five gallons at a time. This makes the ice cream light and creamy, not dense and hard-packed like other brands. They also hand-stir ingredients into the ice cream to ensure flavor in every bite.
But where do you get a good Lopez Island Ice Cream cone on San Juan Island? At an unlikely place: just a block from the ferry landing at San Juan Florist on First Street, next to the Pelindaba Lavender showroom. Yes, ice cream at the flower shop. It seems rather a strange place to find ice cream, but since they also have hand-dipped chocolates and a huge selection of candies, it makes perfect sense: flowers, ice cream, chocolates, and candies – all the things to make you smile. Or maybe that’s just another case of island quirkiness…