I suppose the debate over soft serve vs. hard ice cream will go on forever. For me it’s no contest. I prefer substance, depth of flavor, multiple options, and the convenience of getting it whenever the mood arises. I’m a hard ice cream person all the way and those that share my preference are very fortunate in the Champlain Valley. We have the Stewart’s Shops.
You may be familiar with Stewart’s Shops as convenience stores; a place where you grab the milk and eggs for breakfast or top off the gas tank on the way home. These shops are not an unfamiliar sight for residents of the region or for those traveling to, from or within. When I see the Stewart’s logo, I think ice cream; top quality ice cream with a multitude of selections and flavor choices readily available.
A Bit About the Company
This is a family owned company with one third of that company being owned by employees. Headquartered in the Saratoga area, there are 330 Stewart’s Shops within a tight 150 mile radius. Many of these shops are in our Adirondack communities. Stewart’s produces approximately 75% of all the products they sell, including the ice cream of course, which permits high quality control. They make use of a highly efficient system to acquire the product, process, package and deliver to each shop in record time. Regular, rapid delivery ensures the freshest products to us as consumers. All the dairy products are acquired from local farmers and I learned it can be a mere 48 hours between the time the egg leaves the hen until it lands in your skillet. How great is that?
Stewart’s has been producing ice cream for over 70 years and the Stewart’s plant now produces over 3,000,000 gallons of ice cream a year! I invite you to check me here, but if my calculations are right that is over 4 ½ Olympic size pools full every year!
They have won 6 awards at the World Dairy Expo held annually in Madison, WI in early October. I hadn’t heard of this expo before, but learned that it’s a 5 day international gathering of the entire dairy industry showcasing dairy cattle, the latest technology, research and products. In 2010 and 2012 Stewart’s Dark Chocolate ice cream was voted the No. 1 dark chocolate ice cream in the world by expo judges. Their new gelato, a bit denser and creamier than average ice cream, was also a World Dairy Expo winner.
Therefore, on these hot summer days, when I think ice cream, I think Stewart’s and not just because of the freshness and convenience. Let’s talk about options. Floats, sundaes, cones, pints, shakes, you name it. If it’s made with ice cream you can walk into a Stewart’s Shop and fulfill your craving practically instantly. And, flavor choices, oh my. No matter what your preference over 50 different flavors of ice cream are available. Granted not all those are available for single servings, but over 25 flavor choices are. You can also get creative with a “Make Your Own” sundae. Stewart’s has been offering this option since 1948!
Every spring and early summer Stewart’s rolls out some special seasonal flavor selections. These are the Limited Editions. Some may be new that year, and some may be back by popular demand, but you can plan on some tempting choices to enhance your summer experience. This year, how about trying some Whiteface Fudge to recall your time on the slopes? Stewart’s welcomes and looks forward to your feedback, so let them know what you think. Some Limited Editions have graduated to permanent status in the past due to positive customer feedback.
I stopped by my local Stewart’s recently to specifically try one of the seasonal flavors selections rolled out early this spring. A coffee fan, their Brew-Ha-Ha had been on my list of things to try for a while. I knew it was a limited edition so I didn’t want to delay much longer. If I loved it, as I expected to, I’d want more. Brew-Ha-Ha is a richer roast coffee flavored ice cream; flavored with Stewart’s own Richer Roast coffee in fact. To that deep coffee flavor dark chocolate pieces flavored with espresso beans have been added. Trust me, this flavor combination is a hit if you are both a coffee and a dark chocolate lover like me.