Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? It’s true! We have a whole summer month to celebrate guilt-free the creamy, cold delight of everyone’s favorite sweet treat.
In honor of the month and summer itself, let’s explore five local ice cream shops that a senior living in Cincinnati can get some licks in and beat the heat.
Aglamesis Brothers was founded in 1908 by two Greek brothers — Thomas and Nicholas — who moved to Cincinnati to open up a candy making and ice cream operation. The Aglamesis brothers specialized in producing hand-cranked, rock salt ice cream. They delivered their product to local homes and their delivery wagon quickly became a welcome sight for Cincinnatians suffering in the sweltering Ohio Valley summer heat.
Their Oakley shop is still open and operating today on Madison Road, along with a second location in Montgomery. Stop in and try one of their 20 flavors of ice cream and Italian ice, or some of their exquisite chocolate-dipped candies!
Dojo Gelato owner Michael Christner and his wife Kimberly moved to Cincinnati from Texas. They founded their sweet shop with a focus on freshness, quality and classic gelato-making technique. The business uses BGH-free, Ohio milk and sources its flavor ingredients from local farmers whenever possible.
Blending European craft with Eastern discipline (a “dojo” is a “training place” in Japanese culture), the shop maintains a commitment to constant improvement and a pursuit of creamy perfection. Dojo features 12 fresh-made flavors daily, so it’s always a surprise what you’ll find when you walk in!
Graeter’s has been a Cincinnati institution for almost a century and a half — since 1868, when Louis Graeter first came here and began selling Old World-style, French pot-frozen ice cream.
Even in the face of competition from mass producers, Graeter’s never changed its original small batch method. Less air is introduced into the ice cream during the French pot process, so their ice cream tends to be denser and creamier than many large, commercial ice cream producers’ products.
Graeter’s flavors include seasonal offerings like Elena’s Blueberry Pie, Peach, and Strawberry Chocolate Chip, as well as their signature Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip (featuring colossal chunks of dark chocolate). They also make sorbet, gelato and other treats, like ice cream and cookie sandwiches.
Graeter’s has many local and regional locations, and its ice cream can be found at groceries nationwide. Its newest scoop shop just opened in historic downtown Loveland.
Speaking of Loveland, almost every small town has its favorite soft serve ice cream stand. That’s certainly true in “The Sweetheart of Ohio,” where the Loveland Dairy Whip — or the “Whippy Dip,” as it’s been affectionately called by local residents — has been in operation for decades.
Located on West Loveland Avenue, the Loveland Dairy Whip features classic offerings like clown sundaes, peanut busters, dipped cones, parfaits and (perhaps most importantly if you take your grandchild there after his or her Saturday morning tee-ball game) Major League helmet sundaes with whipped cream, googly candy eyes and sugar sprinkle hair.
Another Cincinnati soft serve institution — this one on the West Side — Putz’s is so well known that many people will cross the infamous I-75 divide just to go there. Putz’s has been in business since the late 1930s (in the current location since the 1950s) and still runs the Electro-Freeze creamy whip machines it first purchased in the mid-50s — machines that the owners swear set their ice cream apart from other local soft serve establishments.
You and the grandkids can share a banana split. You’ll find plenty of favorites: twist cones, strawberry or pineapple shortcake, par-fays and more. Or, you can try a Gertie Bar — named after one of the original proprietors.
If you have fond memories of summer nights out at the root beer stand, listening to the AM radio from the tuck-and-roll back seat of a Cadillac, Putz’s will satisfy your nostalgic impulses.
It’s easy to celebrate National Ice Cream Month with so many great choices about!
Call up the grandkids and ask them out on an ice cream and play date this weekend. Or, grab some friends, pile in the car and go have some fun.
There are plenty of ice cream hotspots in the Queen City. Take this month to go explore a few.