On a blistering, hot day there is nothing more refreshing than a cool treat. Whether it’s ice cream, frozen yogurt, smoothies or snacks, Lake Norman is overflowing with summer’s delights.
The Lake Norman area is home to more than 16 unique ice cream and frozen yogurt shops, ranging from family-owned businesses such as Davidson Chocolate Co. and Millers Produce & Ice Cream Shop in Mooresville, to mainstream franchises including Ben & Jerry’s and Baskin Robbins.
What sets companies apart are the novelties: Dairy Queen’s Blizzards, Dippin’ Dot’s ice cream beads and Mooresville Ice Cream Company’s Deluxe Nutty Cone (and Mooresville Bar).
A variety of flavors have claimed victory as most popular in their respective shops, from moose tracks to salted caramel. Some specialties are backed up by sponsors like the popular Charlotte Burnout Speedway (Mooresville Ice Cream Co.) Others are just bizarre as raspberry hibiscus and passion truffle.
Most of the shops are revving up to support the boost in business that comes with schools letting out.
They are stocking shelves, pounding fudge and pouring ice cream into vats.
By looking at the last year’s sales, they forecast the amounts of product needed. If their costumers’ cravings haven’t changed, they will be outfitted to feed the waves of people.
This is not true for every company. Some see a decrease in sales when their strong community base dissipates as its residents break for summer.
The community is a large part of the ice cream business.
Gary Winge, owner of Carolina Cones in Cornelius, has seen this as kids grow up to bring their kids to the shop. The first ice cream store in the area is now in its 33rd year.
The history reaches further than North Carolina.
Bill Kenney, owner of Kilwins at Birkdale Village, serves a lot of Michiganders who come knowing of the shop back home. Kilwins is active in the community, donating to the Huntersville United Methodist Church food bank and participating in the Biggest Cheese in Town campaign for Our Towns Habitat of Humanity.
North Carolinians must be hooked to frozen treats, since they support such a huge quantity of stores all in a rather small region. Davidson Chocolate Company witnesses this addiction when owner Ana Vazquez rings up regular orders for a pound of toffee.
The affinity for ice cream has spread from humans to canines. According to Jamie Longshore, a server at Cookies N Crème in Denver, customers bring in their dogs and give them ice cream scoops.
Even the elderly at Mooresville Ice Cream Company are itching for what Tracy Potts, a division manager, describes as “their daily dose of calcium.”
It’s not just ice cream we are after. The modern era has brought about frozen yogurt - a delicacy that herds yogurt lovers into its establishments. TCBY, or The Country’s Best Yogurt, is among the frozen yogurt market’s leaders and has been renovated to have a chic interior décor.
Places like Yo! World Frozen Yogurt cater to this generation with low-fat and non-fat options. While sweetFrog lures in its costumers with Scoop and Cookies (their mascots) and a toppings bar that allows for a light snack or a heavy dessert.
Together these ice cream and yogurt locations fill the Lake Norman area with a delicious variety of options in the quest to beat the heat.
Hungry? Try these ice cream, yogurt shops:
• Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, 17029 Kenton Drive. Details: 704-896-2886.
• Carolina Cones, 20801 N Main St. Details: 704-892-8190.
• Ben & Jerry’s, 202 South Main St. Details: 704-892-0604.
• Davidson Chocolate Co., 610 Jetton St. Details: 704-896-7245.
• TCBY, 610 Jetton St. Details: 704-892-3747.
• Cookies N Crème, 102 N. Pilot Knob Road. Details: 704-820-2855.
• Baskin Robbins, 10310 Wilmington St. Details: 704-948-5454.
• Ben & Jerry’s, 16915 Birkdale Commons Pkwy. Details: 704-895-5675.
• Dairy Queen, 9121 Sam Furr Road. Details: 704-892-1884.
• Kilwins Birkdale Village, 16926 Birkdale Commons Pkwy. Details: 704-237-4869.
• sweetFrog, 9918 Knockando Lane. Details: 704-987-5098.
• TCBY, 16916 Birkdale Commons Pkwy. Details: 704-987-2262.
• TCBY, 9334 Rose Commons Drive. Details: 704-947-9700.
• Yo! World Frozen Yogurt, 9934 Rose Commons Drive. Details: 704-948-7750.
• Baskin Robbins, 842 Williamson Road. Details: 704-660-5548.
• Baskin Robbins, 651 River Hwy. Details:
• Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, 252 Williamson Road. Details: 704-799-9898.
• Cold Stone Creamery, 688 Bluefield Road. Details: 704-799-6022.
• Dairy Queen, Mount Mourne Springs. Details: 704-799-0270.
• Millers Produce & Ice Cream Shop, 110 Market Road. Details: 704-662-4685.
• Mooresville Ice Cream Company, 172 N. Broad St. Details: 704-664-5456.
• Rita’s Ice Custard Happiness, 591 River Hwy. Details: 704-664-7482.
• TCBY, 111 Marketplace Ave. Details: 704-660-9995.