Local Ice Cream Tastes Travel from County to City
In the distance, a soft breeze whispers through a field of brilliant yellow sunflowers as young cows nibble on grass and clover nearby. Farmer Chuck Fry explains the patches of missing grass in the pasture are “where the cows’ ice cream used to lie.” In other words, the cows eat the good stuff first.
Rocky Point Dairy Farm has been owned and operated by the Fry family since 1883 and spans 1,500 rolling acres near the Potomac River, only a stone’s throw from Point of Rocks. Fry’s family currently milks 200 cows twice daily in order to send tractor trailers full of milk to Dairy Maid for local processing and distribution.
In the fall of 2011, Fry launched a new addition to his otherwise-traditional dairy farm: Rocky Point Creamery. This large roadside ice cream shop came to life after Fry spent time traveling as part of the American Farm Bureau Federation, visiting creameries throughout the East Coast. He learned what worked well, and was able to incorporate those lessons into making his own creamery a success.
“The biggest mistake other creameries made was starting off too small, so we built our creamery larger than what we knew we’d need at first…”
It’s hard to miss Rocky Point Creamery on Tuscarora Road. The red building stands out beautifully against the pasture and sunflowers, with ample parking in front and around the side. Large cow shaped benches—or “cowches” as Fry jokes—flank the front door. Inside, several tables surround the ice cream case where about 20 different flavors beg to be tasted, including standards like vanilla, chocolate and butter pecan. Fan favorites, however, include mint chip for the kids and coffee “cowfee” bean for the adults. The ice cream at Rocky Point Creamery is almost custard-like in texture– rich, dense and creamy, yet not overpowered by flavor.
“We only [sell] ice cream in-house,” Fry says. “It’s made on Tuesdays and Fridays, allowed to age for three to four days, and then sold fresh in the creamery. We don’t want to lose the appeal of being small and local.” And locals have certainly embraced Rocky Point Creamery, with many evenings ending with neighbors finishing their cups and cones while seated at one of the picnic tables alongside the building.
Rocky Point Creamery prides itself in more than just great ice cream. “Having a large creamery allows us to act as host to groups that need to understand farm life,” says Fry. “We keep it real on the farm, and hope they get what farmers do.” These visitors span from Leadership Frederick County classes to “politics tours” and Fry believes that helping people learn exactly where their ice cream and other food comes from is important to sustainability. As Fry puts it, “We’re preserving agriculture one scoop at a time.”
STREETS AND SWEETS
While agriculture is definitely important to Frederick County, preserving the integrity and liveliness of Downtown Frederick is just as critical. Frederick Fudge & Ice Cream Co.’s location on the corner of East and Church streets stands out, especially with its iconic Theodore the Bear, dressed in a tie outside the shop, to welcome hungry patrons. Mike and Terri Winder, who also own Frederick Coffee Company & Café across the street, purchased Frederick Fudge & Ice Cream eight years ago and continue to stock it with ice cream direct from Hershey, Pa.
“We consider our ice cream from Hershey to be locally sourced, but we’re in the process of partnering with an even more local creamery in the near future,” says manager Kelli Keyzers. “We plan to make specialty flavors that we’ll sell in the store and use to create retail treats like ice cream sandwiches, ice cream popsicles and really creative ice cream cakes.”
For now, locals are happy to indulge in the Hershey’s ice cream, as well as rich chocolate fudge that’s made in-house. Children flock to the ever-popular cotton candy ice cream, with its mixture of blue and pink made even tastier by one of the shop’s homemade colorful waffle cones, coated in a variety of sweet treats like chocolate and rainbow sprinkles. Grown-ups have their favorites, too, and Keyzers notes, “The standard vanilla is always a winner, but our Extreme Chocolate and Cappuccino Crunch flavors are definitely top sellers.”
Join Frederick Fudge & Ice Cream this month for their “31 Ways to Love Ice Cream” promotion. They’ll be celebrating National Ice Cream Month by offering something fun and exciting every day, ending with ice cream sodas on July 31. Find fun coupons and savings sprinkled throughout the month where you can save “50% off your Birthday Dessert Party booking,” or “Buy One Scoop, Get One FREE (on your cup/bowl)”. A portion of July’s proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County.
Rocky Point Creamery
4323A Tuscarora Road
Facebook: Rocky Point Creamery
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday–Sunday 11:30 a.m.–8 p.m.
Friday-Sunday 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m.
Frederick Fudge & Ice Cream Co.
253 E. Church St.
Facebook: Frederick Fudge Ice Cream
Summer Hours of Operation:
11:30 a.m.–9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday:
11:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m.