SUBSCRIBE NOW

Chillin’ at the Creamery

QUENTIN ROUX
Q@MISUNTIMES.COM
Mint mint chocolate chocolate chip has a catchy name and a delicious taste.
  • O’Donnell made a point of making her own favorite, called Founder’s Favorite and consisting of sweet cream ice-cream, caramel, fudge and pecans.

If you’re unfamiliar with the chop-chop, fold-fold technique of serving fresh ice-cream, a visit to Cold Stone Creamery at Marco’s Esplanade will reveal all.

“You hit the ice cream just four times (with a pair of metal spatulas, indeed on a ‘cold stone’) so you get the texture and flavor,” says Jeanette O’Donnell, who runs the family business along with her right-hand person, manager Maria Camargo.

The cotton candy shake is a great favorite with kids because of its rainbow sprinkles ingredient.

The store has been in operation at the Esplanade since 2004, and differs from your average parlor because the ice-cream is made daily in a churner.

“It couldn’t be fresher,” says O’Donnell, whose parents originally were impressed by the franchise during a visit to a Creamery in Gainesville. Moving over from their stamping ground of Palm Beach on the east coast, they soon opened a chain of stores – including the one on Marco.

Ice-cream cupcakes come complete with chocolate shells instead of the usual wax paper.

For the Sun Times series on drinks and desserts (the drinks this time with no alcohol kick), O’Donnell and Camargo settled for a cotton candy milkshake (essential ingredient rainbow sprinkles especially for kids); a strawberry mango smoothie, and desserts varied rich and tasty enough to make you never want to leave the place.

Ice-cream, caramel, fudge and pecans.

O’Donnell made a point of making her own favorite, called Founder’s Favorite and consisting of sweet cream ice-cream, caramel, fudge and pecans.

Camargo came up with a “mint mint chocolate chocolate chip” combo of brownie ice cream, chocolate chip and fudge with mint ice-cream; and also a trio of ice-cream cupcakes, with pure chocolate shells instead of wax paper.

Maria Camargo, left, manages the store, while Jeanette O'Donnell is the owner along with her family, and takes care of the business and logistical side of the Creamery.

O’Donnell said because the operation is part of a franchise, unannounced quality checks occur frequently to ensure standards are maintained.

On the cover: A selection of some of Cold Stone Creamery's offerings include a cotton candy shake, Founders ice-cream, mint mint chocolate chocolate chip ice-cream and a strawberry mango smoothies.

If you go:

What: Cold Stone Creamery

Where: Esplanade, 740 N. Collier Blvd.

Products: Fresh ice-cream, smoothies, shakes, sodas, ice-cream cakes and “hot” stone combos

Prices: Around $2 for children’s portions, $7 for regular portions

Hours: Noon to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday and Sunday; and noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Catering: Yes

Telephone: 393-0046