When I saw Mallard Ice Cream listed in my Sunset magazine, I knew it was time for my family to hurry back to one of our favorite places in Bellingham. Located on Railroad Avenue in the heart of downtown, Mallard is loved by locals year-round for its creative flavors and its commitment to high quality ingredients. Each summer the shop buys 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of fresh grown, local, organic fruit, which employees process by hand just steps from the serving counter.
I recently enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour with owner Ben Scholtz who explained, “Our ice cream is good because each batch represents one employee hour. Our fruit is hand processed, our chocolate is hand-chopped, our sauces are hand-made, our citrus is hand-squeezed. We make ice cream out of real food – not out of a can. That attention to detail gives us an unlimited amount of flavor options.”
Ben has owned Mallard Ice Cream for 10 years and says he has made more than 500 flavors. Of course he has fabulous vanilla and chocolate, but also Lemon Nettle, Basil, Rhubarb and Chai. The shop serves 28 flavors at a time and typically goes through 50 gallons of ice cream per day. Even on rainy winter days I have seen a line out the door at 9 p.m. His most popular flavor is also unexpected: Coconut Chocolate Chunk with Almonds. I tasted it and can see why. Smooth Indonesian coconut cream and rich Callebaut chocolate carefully frozen to the perfect texture – yum!
In the food world, I believe in eating dessert first, and Mallard Ice Cream is at the top of my list.