Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Cold Stone Creamery
If you are an ice cream lover then this is definitely a place you should not miss! I recommend that you don’t go there unless you have plenty of time to spare as there is such a large choice that you will be certain to take quite a while to make your selection.
Cold Stone Creamery is the brainchild of Donald and Susan Sutherland who had a passion for ice cream and, after searching in vain far and wide for an ice cream that was ‘smooth and creamy’ they decided that they would just have to create their own, and they opened their first store in Arizona in 1988. Using only the very finest ingredients they made their ice cream fresh every day and every creation was made to order for each customer. Their reputation soon spread far and wide, and now there are over 1,000 stores throughout the country, with many more being planned.
Going into a Cold Stone Creamery is not like going into a standard ice cream store where there are big tubs of different flavours for you to choose from, and a selection of sprinkles and nuts to go on the top. The choice that faces you when you go into the store is HUGE and initially very confusing and you will need to allow quite a bit of time to read everything carefully. They have some suggested concoctions, or you can ‘build your own’ from all the fantastic ingredients on offer.
Every store has the same twelve basic flavours – e.g. French Vanilla, Chocolate, Banana, Mint, Sorbet and Strawberry. Then there are about twenty local and seasonal favourites such as Black Cherry, Cinnamon, Pumpkin, Raspberry and Pistachio. Once you have selected your basic flavour (or flavours) you can then choose any mix-ins that you would like. The selection here is huge as well. You can select different nuts, candies (e.g. M & Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, chocolate chips), fruits, baked goods (e.g. brownies, Oreos), marshmallows, fudge, caramel etc etc etc. The list is very long and the combinations of ice creams and mix-ins are almost unlimited.
If you like, you can opt for one of Cold Stone Creamery’s originals where all the decisions are already made for you, but the mixing is still done while you wait. How about an ‘At the Cocoa Banana Cabana’, ‘Cookie Doughn’t You Want Some’ or a ‘Strawberry Shortcake Serenade’?
All the ice cream is mixed by hand in front of you on a freezing slab of granite and put into either a freshly made waffle cone or a bowl. There is entertainment too, while your ice cream is being created, and the last time I was there the assistants sang while they worked. They threatened to continue singing until we had put a tip into the jar on the counter. So rather than paying them to sing, we were paying them to stop! The atmosphere was great and nothing was too much trouble for them.
One other thing I should mention is that the portions are very, very generous; so don’t go there after you have already eaten a big meal!
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