Ice cream company launches ‘pint club’

Islanders longing for the days of slinging back a pint at their favorite brewery can soon help themselves to a pint of something new, as a Freeland-based creamery is planning to launch its own pint club.

Whidbey Island Ice Cream Co. will be offering special edition flavors of its ice cream with the opportunity to create new flavors starting this Memorial Day weekend.

Owners Jill and Steve Rosen of the Freeland Freeze, located next door to Rocket Taco, have decided to re-brand the scoop shop by making it Whidbey Island Ice Cream’s first storefront. Since purchasing the ice cream company two and a half years ago, they decided the time was right to expand inventory and experiment with new flavors in a way they couldn’t previously when distribution was limited to grocery stores.

“It’s kind of funny that Whidbey Island Ice Cream has been around for so long but has never had its own standalone shop on the island,” Steve said of the company, which started back in 2008.

He added that he has received many calls from people over the years asking to visit Whidbey Island Ice Cream, but the plant where the ice cream is made hasn’t exactly been conducive to visitors.

A storefront, however, will be.

Fanatics of the sweet stuff can get the full scoop by signing up for the pint club’s newsletter, which will be sent out a few times every month with details of the seasonal flavor.

Steve explained that by subscribing to the newsletter, no one is under any obligation to purchase any ice cream unless they so choose. It’s an opportunity to place orders, which will have special pint club packaging and can be picked up at the former Freeland Freeze location.

Customers can suggest new flavors, too. If Whidbey Island Ice Cream decides to make their flavor combination, they will be offered a free pint of the flavor.

“We hope that it’s something people participate in, and that we get some really great ideas out of it,” Steve said.

So far, he said people have come up with creative suggestions, from huckleberry cheesecake to black licorice and rhubarb to chocolate-covered cordial cherry.

The newly branded Whidbey Island Ice Cream store also plans to sell ice cream bars, which are unique to the company.

The shop has typically operated on a seasonal schedule, meaning it has opened in the spring and closed in the fall. That might change, too.

While the Rosens are relying on direction from the governor during this month and plan to start pick-up of the ice cream May 23, they may plan to continue ice cream pick-up during the winter months. This could be achieved by setting aside a few days every week for customers to either come to the storefront or go next door to Rocket Taco, where their order could be kept.

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