Ice cream - We All scream for it

Ice cream shops provide tasty treats to Islanders, visitors

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  • Those in need of a cool treat have a plethora of options when it comes to ice cream shops on Marco Island.

Those in need of a cool treat have a plethora of options when it comes to ice cream shops on Marco Island. It just depends on what you’re looking for in a frozen treat.

Ice cream aficionados who like to create their own, can head over to Cold Stone Creamery in the Esplanade, where manager Maria Camargo, starts with one of 15 flavors of ice cream, puts it on a cold stone, and mixes it up however customers like it. With more than 20 mix-ins, such as fruits, candies and gooey fudge, caramel or marshmallows, customers can get creative.

“The kids love the cotton candy,” Camargo said.

The ice cream is made fresh in the shop, and for those who want to leave it up to the experts, there are 60 different signature creations such as peanut butter cup perfection, with chocolate ice cream, peanut butter, Reese’s peanut butter cups and fudge. One of the most popular treats is the founder’s favorite, which includes sweet ice cream mixed with pecans, brownie bits, fudge and caramel.

Camargo points out that the shop also makes its own cakes and cupcakes fresh in the store, too.

For lactose intolerant residents or for those watching their weight, owner of Tutti Frutti, Ron Ellis, says his soft serve, sugar-free, ice creams are a hit. Last week, strawberry shortcake soft serve with no sugar graced the menu, and the flavor changes often. Sometimes it’s pecan. Sometimes it’s orange vanilla. Sometimes it’s German chocolate cake.

“It’s perfectly safe for diabetics. The sweetener is fructose. Only 40 calories per serving and eight carbs in a 4-ounce serving. Everything is natural,” Ellis said.

“A favorite of a lot of people is chocolate cheesecake,” Ellis added.

He also serves about 20 flavors of Edy’s premium ice cream. And a favorite creation of his own is a chocolate-covered key lime pie on a stick.

Retired engineer Gary Beebe owns two ice cream shops on the Island. Sweet Annie’s, which has been around for 24 years, eight of which have been under Beebe’s ownership, caters to those looking for an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. With treats served in glassware at an old-fashioned countertop, the shop also houses arcade games and sells children’s gifts and old-fashioned candies.

With about 13 flavors of ice cream like the sunken treasure, with vanilla ice cream, caramel swirls and mini caramel cups and chocolate-covered pecans. The shop also serves old-fashioned ice cream sodas and real milkshakes. One of his own creations has become a popular treat — it’s a spin-off a banana split, except instead of bananas, he uses Twinkies.

“It’s not just kids that buy it,” Beebe said.

Across town, near hotels and condos that cater to seasonal residents and tourists, Beebe’s Ice Cream, carries a lot of the same ice cream flavors, but does things quick.

“You get your ice cream to go,” Beebe said. “It’s all in plastic — all to go — but it fits the need over there because people like to just walk across the street.”

A new item on the menu at Beebe’s includes shaved ice with eight different flavors, such as wild cherry, lemon-lime and watermelon.

No matter what kind of frozen treat you’re in the mood for, at least one, if not all the shops can accommodate. And, with each shop manager or owner, they love working behind the counter of an ice cream shop.

“I enjoy people. I enjoy kids. I just enjoy the public in general,” Ellis said.

If you go...

Cold Stone Creamery: 740 N. Collier Blvd., 393-0046

Tutti Frutti: 680 Bald Eagle Drive, 642-7779

Sweet Annie’s: 692 Bald Eagle Drive, 642-7180

Beebe’s Ice Cream: 599 S. Collier Blvd., 642-9800

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