Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

May 11, 2012

The Chief voted state's best ice cream shop

GOSHEN — The Chief ice cream shop has been voted to have the best ice cream in Indiana and three other local shops placed in the top 10 of an online consumer poll.

The contest was hosted by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. The office staff said 10,880 people voted.

“It is a surprise,” said The Chief co-owner Lowell Vanderveer. “I guess we must have good ice cream.”

The honor comes in the 50th anniversary year for The Chief. The ice cream shop’s staff still hand-mixes 16 flavors of ice cream using an ice-cream maker in the back of the shop. There are 15 standard flavors and one flavor of the week.

Local ice cream fans were on social media networks plugging their favorite shops and urging their friends to vote for the four local shops. Finishing in third place was the South Side Soda Shop. Rocket Science Ice Cream in Nappanee placed sixth and Bonnie & Clyde’s Soda Shop in Bristol was ranked eighth.

“It is pretty amazing that Goshen has two ice cream places that are best in the state,” said Charity Boyd, co-owner of the South Side Soda Shop.

She said the shop recently changed ice cream brands and now carries up to 16 flavors of Melting Moments ice cream from Lansing, Mich.

“It’s probably the best ice cream we have ever had,” Boyd said.

Soda Shop customers are being offered samples of the new ice cream flavors, and it seems those customers returned the favor with votes.

“Everybody is really crazy about it. It has been working out really well for us,” Boyd said of the new brand.

Being based in Michigan, Boyd said one of the company’s flavors is Essence of Michigan, which includes cherries from the Traverse City area and fudge from Mackinaw City.

Bonnie & Clyde’s Soda Shop is just a year old but is already attracting regional attention.

“Pretty crazy isn’t it” asked owner Paul Guzman. We are pleased. We just had our one-year anniversary on the 27th of April. That’s pretty good for us. It must mean we are doing something right.”

The shop sells Bonnie Doon ice cream that is made in Elkhart County and the shop’s staff makes the waffle cones that hold the 13 flavors of ice cream offered.

The shop shares an 1841 building on Vistula Street with Stone Soup Emporium.

“We have had a very good popularity and very good response. People coming in the door are very pleased. That has developed a bit of loyalty that is rare for the first year,”Guzman said.

In Nappanee the Rocket Science Ice Cream shop is located in the Coppes Commons building and is owned by Steve Helmuth. He opened the shop last fall after selling the same products while he was a traveling vendor.

The ice cream flavors are mixed with fresh fruit while the customer looks on and then flash frozen using liquid nitrogen.

The tourism office also held a vote on “Summer Gotta-Dos of Indiana” and the Elkhart County Quilt Gardens tour was ranked sixth and the Shipshewana Flea Market finished in eighth place.

To view the results go online to VisitIndiana.com.

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