Small Business – Dairy Farms & Ice Cream Shops

By Edward Blanchette

Aaaah, Summertime. Long hot days, family vacations and barbeques, and ice cream! Yes, summers and ice cream, go perfectly together and ice cream is the one thing that can assist in taking the edge off the heat of the day, topping off the end of a great meal, or just put a smile on a child’s face. Whether you are nine months or ninety years young, it’s ice cream that brings the biggest smile of approval, hands down! Definitely the go-to for most people this time of year. And why not? This frozen treat comes in a multitude of flavors, colors, and sizes. Not to mention a variety of ingredients to satisfy even the pickiest of consumers. From hard scooped to soft-serve that creates banana splits, hot-fudge sundaes, your favorite flavored shake, to even the simplest vanilla cone (be it standard, sugar, or waffle cone), ice cream has certainly come a long way from its meager beginnings. 

It’s believed that the precursors to ice cream originated as far back as 2700 BCE. It is also believed that early ice cream was also created during the Tang Dynasty of China (618 to 907 CE), the iced milk that had been so popular in earlier dynasties had become a widespread delicacy. But in America, the first ice cream Parlor was believed to have been opened in New York City in 1776. American colonists were the first to use the term ice cream. The name came from the phrase “iced cream,” which was similar to iced tea. The name was later abbreviated to ice cream, the name we know today.*  From there, the many innovations for this frozen treat took off.**

  • In the 1840’s the first ice cream churn was invented. 
  • In 1851 the first ice cream plant was opened. 
  • In the 1880’s the ice cream sundae was born.
  • In 1904 the first waffle cone made its debut at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, MO. 
  • In 1970 a man named H.P. Hood introduced a soft-serve frozen dessert, first served on the U.S. East Coast to limited success in the 1970’s, dubbed the name “Frogurt”.
  • In 1978, Brigham’s Ice cream Shop in Boston developed and introduced the first packaged frozen yogurt under the product name “Humphreez Yogart.”
  • In 1980-81: The first patents for Lactose-reduced ice cream and process for the production of and for this specific creation of Lactose- reduced Ice cream was created.***

With all of the technology and sophistication of ice cream today, the average American consumes approximately 19.7 pounds of ice cream annually. Though the majority of ice cream may be sold through grocery stores, and not restaurants,**** we still have our favorite spots to frequent to indulge ourselves with this awesomely delicious – frozen tasty treat, be it with friends and family, or just by yourself. It’s always a welcomed and tasty escape.

In “Amish Country” there are certainly a bunch of locations that serve or sell that frozen treat, that is Ice cream. But I would be remiss if I did not mention the additional prime locations to the ice cream shops that also serve this “Dairy Treat,” that being the multiple Dairy Creamery locations that dot the landscape of Lancaster County and the counties that surround all that is “Lancaster Pennsylvania,” drom milk, cheeses, to ice cream. You can usually find all of your dairy needs in these locations that specialize in all-things dairy. And in some, you might even find a bit more farmland treasures, that being baked goods and some local produce. Routing out any other remaining cravings or needs you may have, to what one might perceive as a one-stop shopping experience.

As we wind down our summer, remember to look for and support these unique small businesses if you can, especially after a difficult 15 to 18 months of community and business disruptions due to world events, and recognize how special those businesses are in our hearts and for what they have to offer to our communities with their special contribution. Listed are a number of locations where you might go. As our summer soon comes to an end and you travel through “Amish Country” feeling the need to indulge those cravings and enjoy a cool refreshing and tasty treat, that is of course…Ice cream.