Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cravings.

I love hearing about your cravings. They are beautiful things. I really believe this. To want, to desire, to need to taste something that you had once or twice or a million times and just need it again: I like that idea of something being so memorable. Cravings shouldn't be bad things. We should all revel in our cravings. Cravings are memories that haunt your tongue and belly. Cravings: they are at the root of my food love. They keep me searching for the perfect taste and smell.
Cravings can be completely unobtainable. Pureed Mango I make at home doesn't taste like the puree I have had in the sweltering heat of India. I crave that Mango from India but I also crave the memory of eating that Mango in that sticky sweaty heat with my best friend. I still love that craving and that memory even when it can't quite be satisfied. Your ice cream cravings remind me of those unobtainable cravings and those cravings just out of reach. Customers constantly tell me that I need to bring back a said delicious ice cream flavor because they can't stop thinking about it.  It is always something that we aren't featuring at the moment and then when we switch those flavors - someone comes in and says - NOOOOO bring it back... I am craving Salty Caramel, Raspberry 5 Spice, Candy Cane, Pumpkin... anything. I love this. I love your cravings! Enjoy that want and the wait because your favs will be back and you will love them and they will be just like you remembered...maybe even better. These cravings are obtainable at Sweet Peaks - you might  just have to wait a little longer.
I also love reading Facebook posts from our out-of-town customers who have returned to their homes or winter retreats and CRAVE Sweet Peaks. Do we ship? Not yet - but maybe we will ship sometime in the future. For now - keep telling me about your cravings for Sweet Peaks or anything else for that matter. I will tell you about mine, too. (Right now it is Apple Cider with Caramel and just a dollop of cream! And carrot soup and tomato soup and the perfect Gruyere grilled cheese and...)  Oh, and Salty Caramel. I will get right on that. I know you have been telling me LOUD and CLEAR that you might not make it through the winter without a cone, pint or quart. I hear you. I am in the kitchen whipping it up. I promise!
-marissa

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This is Summer.

I just needed to say hi.

Summer. It creeps up on you sometimes in Montana and other times it just hits you. Bam! Heat, bugs, swimming, camping, adventures, company, camp and everything summer in Montana means to you. It is here and ready for you to enjoy every single second because it comes fast and quick and then...see you later, alligator.

We are in the thick of summer here at Sweet Peaks. The ice cream machines get very little rest these days and neither do Sam or I. However, tonight I have a rare moment of slow calm. I am sitting on my porch with a plate of farmer's market veggies picked up for dinner and a glass of wine and I just thought that I should just say hello and send out a virtual smile. I wanted you to know that Sam and I are planning on showing you even more delicious flavors as the summer progresses. We think about them constantly and we love hearing about all your wild and inspiring flavor ideas, too. Keep sharing your ideas and we will keep sending delicious batches out for your enjoyment and reviews.

Summer might be short but we have lots to look forward to. There are great events coming up and you are sure to see our little ice cream buggies out there enjoying each one. Come grab a cone and say hello, taste something new and tell us how you are spending your summer in beautiful Montana.

-Marissa and Sam

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Coming Home to the Inn

We have officially announced that Sweet Peaks will have a second location this summer but I haven't had a chance to describe just how happy this new location truly makes me.

The little town of Bigfork is my hometown and that alone makes opening a Sweet Peaks there quite special. But, it gets better. Sweet Peaks Ice Cream will be located inside the historic Bigfork Inn where I lived for the first 11 years of my life. Yes, I came home to the Bigfork Inn straight from the hospital, learned to walk on the dance floor, learned to enjoy food in the restaurant's kitchen and loved every minute of it. What will be the Sweet Peaks entrance was once my front door and the dipping cabinet and our front counters are smack in the middle of what used to be my kitchen. My first bedroom? It is now our freezer room. As you can imagine, my memories in this building are plenty. I could go on and on about every nook and cranny in this old building and there are a LOT of nooks and crannies. Now, all those  nooks and crannies in my old home are getting a makeover and starting to look amazing.

Here is a little sneak peak of what Sam has been doing in Bigfork to turn my old childhood home into an ice cream shop. He really does all the work himself and that makes the whole process so much  more rewarding. This is what the hands of Sam have built so far (I did a lot of the painting!):


Our logo will go on this front counter.


Once a kitchen and now an ice cream counter.



I love these stools. Love them!



This breakfast nook is now our stool spot.


There is a whole lot of white paint going on but that will change when we add the Sweet Peaks' homemade details. It looks good already but it looks even better with the before and after pictures. Sam has put lots of work into this restoration and his unique handmade ideas are as usual incredible. Check out these milk bottle lights he has been experimenting with at our house.
I might have to leave this at my house.
This renovation and Bigfork expansion has been lots of fun (and lots of hard work for Sam). It is true what they say that the second time around is always easier. We now know what works and what doesn't in a shop and we learn more each and every day. Get excited Bigfork. This is one super cute shop with the best ice cream in the valley.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

We Need You in Bigfork!
Scoopers wanted in Bigfork! We are opening a Bigfork location very soon and we are looking for hardworking, energetic Sweet Peaks Ice Cream lovers to join our team. Think you have what it takes to work in fast paced, super fun world of ice cream? Send your resume along with a statement of your availability to : sammyscoops@gmail.com and tell anyone you know who would love to be on our team. If you happen to be in Whitefish - stop in at our store and chat with us. We will hold interviews in Bigfork soon.

 Sweet Peaks Scoopers for Hire! 

Responsibilities
• Welcome and thank every customer
• Offer customers samples and menu suggestions
• Scoop scoops, make sundaes and mix shakes with love
• Follow health, safety and sanitation guidelines
• Keep counter, seating, bathroom and kitchen areas clean
• Wash ice cream pans and dishes throughout your shift
• Run register; Math skills required

Qualifications
• Like kids of all ages!
• Have great communication skills and a professional, friendly attitude
• Must be willing to learn all about ice cream, sorbet, yogurt and what makes great customer service
• Attention to detail, professionalism, cleanliness and ability to follow instructions very important.

Scooper Pay
• $7.35/hour starting wage + tips with incremental, merit based raises
• As much ice cream as you can eat!

(This is a seasonal job as we will be open during the summer and part of the fall.)
 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Doing the "Hokey Pokey"

Sam has a lovely friend who came to our wedding last summer all the way from New Zealand. Mayana is energetic, lovely and knows how to get down to Johnny Cash cover songs. During her visit to the Flathead Valley we shared a wonderful meal with her and her amazing family on Flathead Lake. While visiting our shop, Miss Mayana informed us of a popular New Zealand ice cream flavor: Hokey Pokey. She had a hard time describing this supposedly delicious flavor so I did some research to find out what exactly is in the ice cream that has won over the people of New Zealand.

First, Hokey Pokey has less to do with the interactive song and dance than you think. The ice cream originates from the 1940's in New Zealand and is made of toffee bits added to vanilla ice cream. The original flavor contained toffee chunks in a variety of sizes but since the 1980's, the company Tip Top (the only company in New Zealand to make the flavor for national consumption) regulated the toffee bits and mass produces the toffee in uniform small balls. They claimed the larger chunks would get stuck in their batch freezers.
(It's a Love Affair in a Cone, Catherine Masters,
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=583900)


At Sweet Peaks, our version of Hokey Pokey homemade sponge toffee crushed into irregular shards and chunks that are then added to a light caramel ice cream. The result is just what New Zealanders (Kiwis) claim keeps them hooked on the Hokey; some of the toffee melts rippling through each scoop while some bits stay hard and crunchy. This is the most popular flavor in New Zealand, second only to vanilla. If you come in and try our Sweet Peaks version you will know why. My first taste of our Hokey Pokey was more than just a sample. I found myself bent over a pint digging for each toffee chunk and fending off Sam's tasting spoon. Hokey Pokey is my new heaven in a spoon! I did do a little dance of sorts when I realized how excited I was going to be adding this flavor to the Sweet Peaks Ice Cream line up. But, my dance wasn't the Hokey Pokey. If it doesn't have anything to do with what we know of as the kid's dance... then why the name? According to Wikipedia, Ice Cream vendors in New York and London were usually referred to as Hokey Pokey men. The ice cream vendors tended to be Italian men who sang a song with the phrase, "oh che poco" meaning, "oh how little" or some deviation of this phrase. They became the Hokey Pokey men and all ice cream was commonly referred to as "Hokey Pokey". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokey_pokey_(ice_cream))

I have had some customers sing me the Hokey Pokey song when ordering. No one has done the dance when ordering but come in and show us your stuff. Or, come in and sing us the less known Hokey Pokey song. In my research, I discovered a song by Richard and Linda Thompson called "Hokey Pokey". The husband and wife musical act performed in the 1970's in London and wrote their own ode to the ice cream men.

"Every boy runs for Hokey Pokey
Hear him ringing on the ice-cream bell
He's got the stuff that'll cool you right down
It's the best that they ever did sell (...)
Well, Annie she smiled and took another bite
Hokey Pokey made her feel alright, alright (...)"

Here at Sweet Peaks, we have lots of amazing flavors but Hokey Pokey might be what you consider, "(...)the best stuff they ever did sell"!

Now - back to my Saturday afternoon pint of Hokey Pokey.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Get Lucky!

It's a Get Lucky Giveaway!!


teamed up with Sam and Marissa of Sweet Peaks Ice Cream!

We are doing a St. Patrick's Day Get Lucky Giveaway!

It's easy peasy-- just "LIKE" us, "TAG" yourself, and "REPEAT"
you are also welcome to share this with others- and nominate your friends!

for every one of our pages you like and tag- you get a chance to win the amazing prizes!


So GET GOING - so you can GET LUCKY!

We will be doing the drawing at NOON on St. Patty's day.
We will notify the winner on our blogs and corresponding FB pages.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oh, Swoon...Love-Red-Chocolate!


Valentine’s Day: A celebration of love and all things red and pink and sweetly delicious.


I have always loved Valentine’s Day. It might sound peculiar because I was never the girl in elementary school or high school with the boyfriend or secret admirer. I didn’t receive candy-grams or roses at school from an overzealous mother. I don’t even think I have ever been on a real date on Valentine’s Day. I would have loved a secret admirer, a candy gram and a real date but despite not having those things, I loved and still love Valentine’s Day. I love it because of the homemade cards that I labored over with my grandma when I was little. I love it because my favorite childhood candy shop (Electric Avenue Gifts in Bigfork) still stocks sour gummy hearts and I love it even more now because I get to create delicious holiday themed ice cream treats. Red, pink and chocolate treats will soon be created as lovingly as were those glittery doily layered cards I would make with my grandma.

Creating new flavors at Sweet Peaks just might be one of the best things about my “job”. I dream in ice cream flavors. I have a little red (I also love the color red) notebook where I write all our recipes and all my future flavors. So many flavors, so little time. Lately, I have been thinking about one particular flavor thanks to the suggestion of my friend Shama: Red Velvet Cake Batter Ice Cream. I can imagine it now scooped into a waffle cone and shared between sweethearts or devoured from a pint container while watching a romantic comedy. Just imagine… chocolate cake batter with a required tinge of red and a creamy ripple of butter cream frosting. The frosting is going to be the key here. I have seen a few recipes for either butter cream or cream cheese frosting on red velvet cakes. We will be churning a few test batches of each before they are unveiled. But -I will say that I am a slave to the cream cheese frosting. It had me at “Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting”. (Do not fret – I have Carrot and Cream Cheese ice cream on the flavor list!)

Our Candy Cane Mint was a hit during the holidays and while we have pulled it from the dipping cabinet to make room for more seasonal flavors, its popularity has me thinking. What Valentine’s Day candy makes me swoon? Candy hearts? No, thank you. I will keep the chalky message hearts in the box. Dove Chocolates? Yes, they are melt-in-your-mouth delish but, no. This is something that appeals to my love and need for spice. RED HOTS! I am thinking that those little red hard candy devils would be quite lovely layered in ice cream. Like their cousin the candy cane, once crushed they are sure to melt in pink and red swirls. I just have to locate these little candies. If anyone happens to know what local grocer keeps a large stock – you know where to find me.

The final touch to a dipping cabinet brimming with holiday love would have to be the classic strawberry – chocolate combination. We have a summer regular who would bring in chocolate sorbet recipes for me whenever she could get her hands on them. I promised I would begin experimenting with a dairy-free chocolate lovers option as soon as I could find the time. The time has come and I have been delving into chocolate sorbet varieties and reveling in my creations. If you love dark chocolate and I mean dream and crave and deeply desire dark chocolate you are going to swoon over my chocolate sorbet. You might actually fall over in a fit of Valentine’s Day flavor inspired passion when you try my chocolate sorbet with chunks of Strawberry. Seriously, I am warning you. It is that good.

February 1st we will be unveiling new flavors and as always I welcome your flavor suggestions as I continue to create. Your flavor could make it into my little red book and then wind up in the dipping cabinet for all to try. Take a look at our Facebook page to see what our customers are requesting and craving this winter.

I recently asked one of my pint-sized customers what he thought would be good for V-Day. He devoutly responded, “Chocolate Love!” He is right. We will have plenty of Chocolate Love on hand and some lovely chocolate ice cream cupcakes, too!

State-of-Sweet-Peaks

Did you know that two ice-cream-entrepreneurs sat in the First Lady’s box during the State-of-the-Union? Their scoop shop in Santa Cruz opened in August thanks to an SBA Loan. The pair created a YouTube video saying thanks for the loan and it made its way to the VP’s desk and then an invite from the First Lady Michelle came quickly after. Ice Cream owners are the new cool and the new face of small business. Hip Hip Horray for ice cream makers everywhere! Do you think Sam and I could get invited next year?