Keep Cool! Have an Ice Cream Cone
Author: David Gigniliat
One of the many positives of living in a warm semi-tropical climate like Hilton Head is that there is no shortage of businesses providing creamy, frozen treats to satisfy the parched and the hungered.
“Ice cream is just a good common denominator for all generations,” said Creegan Edmonds, owner of Hilton Head Ice Cream, which opened in August, 1982. “You know, over the years, we’ve served six month-old babies to 95 year-olds. I think everybody just likes ice cream.”
Edmonds believes in putting out a quality product. His vanilla is sourced directly from Tahiti and Madagascar, his chocolate from the renowned San Francisco-based Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. Corners are rounded at all the right angles, not cut. The Heath Bar and Oreos are actually Heath Bars and Oreos. The fruit toppings are homemade, and not from a can. They’re also free, and like the rest of the condiments, they are anything but vanilla, with quirky takes on some of the classics.
“We used to make ice cream at home. It’s something everybody could get involved in, no matter what their age, and it was a focal point for family gatherings,” Edmonds said. “Sometimes, we’d make peach ice cream and somebody would want chocolate. So we thought it would be good if there was a place where you could get any flavor of homemade ice cream you wanted”
While offering the customary chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors, Hilton Head Island Ice Cream is also known for its creativity and experimentation. In fact, when the shop opened in 1982, their first flavor was espresso, a bold choice that predates the Starbucks coffee revolution by a good decade or so. Edmonds says the creative process for new flavors is often a collaboration of himself, his employees and, occasionally, his customers. Some of the standouts among the current selections include kahlua chip, pumpkin, birthday cake and cayenne chocolate.
“We’re all kind of tossing ideas around all the time. That’s one of the things that makes it fun. At other ice cream stores, you just serve whatever comes on the truck—there’s no creativity involved,” said Edmonds, who admits to sampling some of his product at least once a day. “When you make your own, you can throw anything in it that you want.”
An Italian Treat
For a change of pace, sweet-seekers can visit Pino Gelato, a popular outpost at the Village at Wexford, to sample an ice cream-like indulgence from the Old World.
Gelato is the Italian word for “ice cream” and is generally made with milk and small amounts of cream. It is typically less airy than ice cream and also lower in fat and calories.
Pino Gelato president Ramona Fantini discovered gelato nearly a decade ago while traveling in Italy, and decided to leave the corporate world to import a gelato concept to the Lowcountry. It appears she made the right decision as the store now boasts 11 retail locations nationwide and recently won the 2010 Small Business of the Year award from the Hilton Head/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce.
Get your eat On
For those looking for a brief break from the luxurious shopping at Main Street Village, stop by Munchies for a panini (like the chicken and gouda or the Cuban, with pulled pork) or a scoop of homemade ice cream. Or have some of their delicious baked goods or homemade wraps. As their motto suggests, it’s the perfect place for everything from “soups to sundaes.”
Hilton Head Ice Cream, www.hiltonheadicecreamshop.com, 843-842-6333
55 New Orleans Road, #115, Hilton Head Island, SC
Pino Gelato, , www.pinogelato.com, 843-842-2822
1000 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island, SC
Munchies, www.munchiesshoppe.com, 843-785-3354
1407 Main Street, Hilton Head Island, SC
Marleys Ice Cream & Trading Company, www.marleyshhi.com, 843-686-5801
35 Office Park Road, Hilton Head Island, SC
Coligny Deli Grill — Ice Cream Cone, 843-785-4440
1 North Forest Beach Drive, #204, Hilton Head, SC
Frozen Moo, 843-842-3131
1 North Forest Beach Drive, Hilton Head, SC
Marble Slab Creamery, www.marbleslab.com, 843-842-7522
70 Pope Avenue, Hilton Head, SC
Rita’s, www.ritasfranchises.com/HiltonHead, 843-686-2596
1 North Forest Beach Drive, #126, Hilton Head, SC
Olde Timer’s Ice Cream, 843-836-3600
68 2nd Street, Bluffton, SC
Factory Stores II, Suite 200C, 1414 Fording Island Road, Bluffton, SC
Ice Chips, Inc., 843-706-3227
50 Burnt Church Road, #100A, Bluffton, SC