Chillin’ at the Creamery
- 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 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.
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.
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.
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