You won't find plain old vanilla at Mason's Creamery. Co-owners Helen Qin and Jesse Mason constantly rotate house-made flavors such as lavender and cream, tamarind and vegan fudge. "We love experimenting with local and exotic flavors," says Mason. "Helen and I have traveled throughout the world extensively, and we view our ice cream as a way to educate consumers about ingredients like the lulo tropical fruit from Colombia." Of course, unique twists on the classics — Ugandan vanilla, Mexican chocolate and summer strawberry — are on hand in their Ohio City shop.
holy cow † The duo uses milk from Guernsey cows. Rich in butterfat and protein, it gives the ice cream more body and a creamier texture. "We switched late last summer from organic whole milk, and I could immediately tell the difference," Mason says. "It has a smoother and deeper flavor." Local Love † Many of their creations use local products such as Rising Star Coffee Roasters coffee, Beet Jar Juice Bar cashew milk and Cleveland Tea Revival tea. Although they feature 16 flavors at a time, there are usually a few new combinations waiting on deck in the kitchen's batch freezer. "If you ask nicely, we'll offer you samples of flavors in the back," Mason says. Ice Cream Social † The couple started in 2013 with a mobile ice cream cart at the Cleveland Flea and local farmers markets. Constant postings and interactions on social media have amplified their visibility. "Customers will come into the shop because of a photo we've posted or a thread they've been a part of," says Qin. "Imagery is very powerful." Picture Perfect † Every other Friday throughout the summer, Mason's Creamery hosts a drive-in movie series with a 14-foot inflatable movie screen on the back lawn. Throwback summertime faves such as Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and The Sandlot are planned with coordinating ice cream flavors. "Families can bring their blankets and chairs and enjoy these summer classics," Mason says.
When You Go † 4401 Bridge Ave., Cleveland, 216-245-8942, masonscreamery.com