IIt’s rare to find a place where the whole family can enjoy themselves, especially if you want to include the dog. Humble Cow Ice Cream at Olympia happily fills that need with frozen treats for everyone, even those with dietary restrictions. And even your best four-legged friend.
Humble Cow Ice Cream owner Meegan Cronk moved to Thurston County with her family six years ago from Port Angeles because they wanted their children to be in a certain school district. A former school counselor, Meegan was also in foster care, which she did full-time for a time. When she decided to return to the workforce, she wanted to continue serving the community, but in a different way. “I just wanted to do something that was happy,” Meegan shares. “School counseling is about giving back to the community, but it’s just a different way, you know, and I wanted to do something that brings joy to the community. When I first saw Dr. VanCleave’s rendering of the building, I immediately thought we had to go there so people could go there. I live only a mile and a half away so I knew the need for walkable places for families, kids and seniors. And I love ice cream!”
Driven by the beautiful rendering and love for her neighborhood, Meegan began working on a business plan. That was two and a half years ago, just before COVID. But for her, COVID may have been a blessing in disguise, it gave her time to learn how to be a small business owner, something she had never done before. “I took classes through WCWB and EDC and kind of picked up as much knowledge as I could. And, you know, we kept using this nickname like, “It’s not a good time to start a business, but it’s a good time to plan a business.”
All of those courses from the Thurston County Economic Development Board and the Washington Center for Women in Business have paid off, as Meegan successfully opened Humble Cow Ice Cream on January 15, 2022. And business has been good no matter what. the persistent pandemic. “It certainly didn’t deter people from going out and buying ice cream,” she says. “And we have tables outside so people who aren’t comfortable inside have that option, or they can take it away.”
Local ingredients, fresh flavor
Meegan wanted her ice cream to taste great, and she knew that part of the key to great taste was fresh, quality ingredients. Its dairy ice cream comes from a farm in Bellingham, which means it has less travel time and is fresher, without the need for all those preservatives. “I could get an ice cream base – which is basically milk, cream and sugar – from Indiana for half the price of local, but it doesn’t taste as good and has added preservatives” , explains Meegan. “Besides, I like to support the local!”
In addition to local dairy products, she plans to use fresh fruits and vegetables in her treats as they come into season.
You will find around 16 fresh and creamy flavors each time you visit Humble Cow. They’ll still have the basics, like chocolate, vanilla, mint sprinkles, and the rocky road. But the other flavors will rotate so there will always be something new to try too. “We’ll still have coffee ice cream, but like right now, we have freckle coffee, which is coffee with dark chocolate shavings,” she explains of the flavor rotation. “Before that, we made a Coffee Oreo and a Coffee Almond Fudge.”
Ice cream for all
In addition to their daily freshly made ice creams, they will always have four vegan ice creams, including a sorbet. Meegan pays as much attention to the flavor of vegan gelato as she does traditional, using fresh ingredients and making sure the taste and texture are right. That means not using the motorized bases you can buy for non-dairy ice cream, but instead using a mix made with fresh ingredients. “We use coconut and oat milks in our vegan ice cream because I have found them the creamiest, with the best texture,” she explains.
Meegan’s favorite ice cream flavor is Chocolate Peanut Butter, and she says their vegan flavor is just as good as a traditional ice cream. In the vegan version, she actually makes a fresh base with peanut butter milk, so the ice cream has a heavenly peanut butter flavor, with vegan chocolate speckled all over it. “So you get chocolate and peanut butter in every bite,” she says.
Most of their ice cream flavors are gluten-free, both vegan and dairy, so those staying gluten-free can still enjoy a sweet treat, just ask for the flavors available.
And we can’t forget Fido! Humble Cow will soon be offering Pup Cups! Delicious cold treats for your furry friend, made with dog-safe ingredients like peanut butter, banana, and oat milk. “This is actually our most requested item,” says Meegan. “People are excited for the Pup Cups!”
Ice cream for every occasion
Soon also ice cream cakes for your next party or celebration. They will have a few take-out meals, but will also be able to take custom orders, including gluten-free and/or vegan ice cream cakes! Humble Cow will also be offering homemade fresh ice cream sandwiches, so no frozen hard cookies here.
Next time you’re in the mood for something sweet, check out Humble Cow and bring the whole family. Learn more on the Humble Cow website.
4528 Maple Lane South West, Suite 104, Olympia