Record file — Freeland entrepreneurs Jill and Steve Rosen recently purchased Whidbey Island Ice Cream. The Rosens also own Freeland eateries Rocket Taco and Freeland Freeze.

Freeland business owners scoop up Whidbey Island Ice Cream Co.

Whidbey Island Ice Cream Company has new owners.

Steve and Jill Rosen, who own several business in Freeland and the Seattle area, scooped up the creamery in a deal finalized late last month. The purchase was not disclosed.

The ice cream company, which was founded in 2005, was put up for sale months ago by previous owners Ron and Florence Hecker.

The Rosens have a background in the restaurant and food industry. They also own Freeland’s Rocket Taco and next-door ice cream joint Freeland Freeze, as well as Elemental Pizza locations in Seattle and Tacoma. The Rosens also started Seattle’s Blue C Sushi before eventually selling the business.

“When we decided to open Freeland Freeze, we taste tested all the available ice creams for distribution that we could get our hands on,” Steve Rosen said. “We just liked Whidbey Island Ice Cream the best, flavor and texture-wise. We then heard the owners were looking to step away from the business and saw an opportunity.”

Under the new ownership, Whidbey Island Ice Cream Company won’t change its product, manager Will Turner says. The ice cream itself will stay the same, but Turner adds changes to ordering, delivery methods and the company’s online presence are likely.

“We’re implementing new programs to the business side,” Turner said. “We’re bringing the company into the 21st century by streamlining the delivery process and adding social media, online ordering and things like that.”

For the Rosens, purchasing Whidbey Island Ice Cream Company is a step toward “doubling down” on Whidbey Island. Having lived on the South End for nine years, they’ve recently sought to have more businesses on the island and less in the Seattle area. It’s also an opportunity to partner with other Whidbey businesses, Steve Rosen says, which he hopes will advertise Whidbey Island to the outside world.

 

Kyle Jensen / The Record — Whidbey Island Ice Cream employee Joe Valencia prepares to put sticks in the company’s ice cream bars before they freeze.