Dr. Scoop, Icecreamist

Tomorrow morning is your last chance this summer to experience Dr. Scoop at Ottawa Street Farmers’ Market! I’m just sorry I didn’t get to try the delicious ice cream and write about it sooner. But I was excited to make it stop number two for my Ice Cream Month.

I first saw Dr. Scoop make a splash on Twitter back in June and was pleased to see another new business pop up, particularly a new food venture that focuses on local ingredients. And ice cream, to boot! Just in time for summer. With unique flavours like Smoked Oatmeal Stout, Vanilla Salted Pretzel, Strawberry Fig-Balsamic, and Pear-Ginger Caramel, each one sounds better than the next.

Owner Ciara Brennan set up shop in Ottawa Street Market, which is bustling year round on Fridays and Saturdays from 7am-3pm. Ciara would tweet from the Market of being sold out as early as 10am! I knew I had to get there early. Ice cream for breakfast? Why not!

Many of the ice cream flavours are creative medical puns like Stethoscoop and Bananaphylactic Shock, and Ciara also asked followers to tweet name ideas (Pear-amedic was a winner!) When I saw Ciara’s tweet that she had made an Earl Grey tea flavour (aptly named Earl Grey’s Anatomy) I knew that would be my flavour of choice. It was delicious and creamy, and most importantly, you could tell it was all natural and so much better for you than all of the processed junk that is typically added to ice cream.

I was already excited to try Dr. Scoop’s ice cream, but I wanted to show my support even more after learning about the local business in The Spec’s article, which I recommend reading. I was so impressed with the work, time, and care Ciara puts into every batch of ice cream. The article and accompanying video explain the tedious process and it’s no wonder why there aren’t many, or any, ice cream businesses like this around locally – it’s not easy!

I had a great chat with Ciara and learned that she always had an interest in trying out an ice cream business and has taken a course in making gelato, which taught her a lot of the basics. She didn’t know what to expect when launching Dr. Scoop, but there has been quite the demand. She noted that some people have been coming early and buying one of every flavour each week. From the time I spent at the stall with Ciara, many people came up asking about specific flavours and it seemed like there were a lot of Market regulars.

Ciara also made batches to be sold at Cake & Loaf, and even Chef Shane at Jack & Lois wanted in on Hamilton’s newest delicacy, using Dr. Scoop’s Smoked Oatmeal Stout to create an Irish Car Bomb Banana Split, which looked impossibly good!

Ciara is full of ideas for future flavours, and as we chatted, she mentioned she wanted to make a peanut butter flavour with a swirl of Bourbon. One of the fellows selling food from The Cannon and Cake & Loaf in the stand next to us piped in that peanut butter should definitely be included soon. Sure enough, the following Saturday, Ciara tweeted out a photo of that week’s flavour board, and there is was – Peanut Butter Bourbon! The possibilities are endless!

Even though the summer is winding down, which means an end to Dr. Scoop’s weekly batches of ice creams, Ciara spoke of hopes to open a store down the road, which I know the community would embrace if that comes to be. One thing’s for sure – we’ll all be ready with our spoons for the return of Dr. Scoop next summer!

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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