My first mouthful of Red Wagon ice cream came on a summer afternoon in Springfield. I stuffed two melting mini ice cream cones in my mouth, alternating between salted caramel and chocolate. At $1 a piece, it would have been a shame to get just one. They were rich, creamy and most importantly in cute-sized waffle cones.
Red Wagon’s ice cream is handcrafted by owners Emily and Stuart Phillips. They have a “farm to spoon” philosophy, buying from local suppliers like Singing Dog Vanilla, Lochmead and Valley in the Clouds Farm. And when they say they make “small batches” they mean “we make ice cream using household, counter-top, small as heck ice cream makers to make gobs of creamy goodness.”* The couple has been using Cuisinart 2-quart ice cream makers to produce about 20 gallons a week of ice cream. “It was a huge pain in the cone,” says Stuart.
During summer, back when I first tried Red Wagon, Stuart and Emily were working on 4 or 5 hours of sleep each night.
Recently an investor stepped forward with the $10,000 Emily and Stuart needed to buy a commercial ice cream maker. The industrial-colored machine is on its way right now from the only American manufacturer. The couple estimates it will triple production. This local ice cream cart is well on its way to make $100,000 in sales for the year.
At this time they are not revealing the identity of their investor. To me, Red Wagon is now bursting with as much mystery as it is flavor. But hey, a little mystery is good and I doubt there’s some evil plan to take over the world or something (then again, who knows, this is Eugene). I think the important thing here is that Red Wagon is getting its very own wonderful-sized ice cream maker.
Chef Emily began this journey as a child pulling around a wagon full of freshly-made, for sale ice cream in her neighborhood. Now she has a cart that brings almost endless lines at the Saturday market. The husband-wife duo would like to open their own ice cream shop later this year.
A few highlights from their menu (some are seasonal):
- Smoked Salt Caramel
- Roasted Peach & Rosemary Sorbet
- Brieberry Almond Surprise: Vodka-soaked cranberries mingle with smoked almonds in a Brie ice cream.
For more information on where to find Red Wagon ice cream or how to get it delivered to your house click here.
*Yes, I made those words up.
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