If you have been thinking that an ice cream cone or milkshake would be the perfect way to beat the summer heat, you’re in luck. Ice cream shop Chilly Chicken Creamery is opened Wednesday in Warrenton.
Chilly Chicken, located at 127 S. Main St., in the former Nonna’s Café building, is operated by Ryan Grimm, who said that many people are puzzled by the creamery’s name. No, there is no chicken ice cream, at least not yet. Instead, Grimm said that “Chilly Chicken” reflects the creamery’s promise that ice cream will be made from scratch on site.
For Grimm, the thought of ice cream conjures up fond childhood memories of freezing grapes from his family’s yard and using them to make ice cream with a child’s ice cream maker. He also remembers joining neighbors for root beer floats on Friday nights.
As Grimm grew older, he began to travel around the world and established a tradition. He got ice cream wherever he went, even in the winter.
Grimm was 15 when he traveled to Russia. There was an ice cream shop next door to the currency exchange center, so he went over with a friend and purchased some of the creamy, frozen treat — even though there was 3 feet of snow on the ground at the time.
“My other friends thought I was crazy,” Grimm said.
While some people may treat themselves to ice cream only during the hot summer months, Grimm considers the treat as something to be enjoyed year-round.
“Ice cream provides the benchmark for most everybody,” he said. “It ties in with happy childhood memories and provides comfort.”
Grimm wanted to share his love of the creamy, frozen treat with the community and began making plans for Chilly Chicken Creamery last year. About a month ago, he entered a lease agreement for the former Nonna’s Café building.
Chilly Chicken Creamery brings in milk and cream from Simply Natural Creamery in Ayden, strawberries and blueberries from Warren County Farms, and coffee from Drip Coffee + Market in Warrenton.
Grimm has spent some time developing ice cream flavors, and bringing his touch to more classic flavors, by using a small, tabletop ice cream machine before graduating to the creamery’s machine.
Wednesday, Chilly Chicken offered Black Forest, cherry cheesecake, cookies and cream, salted caramel, chocolate hazelnut, strawberry, peach tea, blueberry lemon, and non-alcoholic, non-dairy pina colada.
Flavors in the works include Carolina Backroad, a take on Rocky Road with chocolate ice cream, marshmallow cream, caramel sauce, and walnuts, Rice Krispies, cookie dough, vanilla s’mores, strawberry balsamic, coffee nut, peanut butter, and birthday cake, among others.
Seasonal flavors, such as pumpkin and peppermint bark, will also work their way into the menu. Grimm hopes to offer a base of six-eight flavors and rotate eight-10 flavors for variety.
Grimm envisions Chilly Chicken Creamery as a happy place where people of all ages can enjoy cups of ice cream, waffle cones, milkshakes, cookie sandwiches, sundaes, and floats.
Customers can also order from a menu of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Varieties of cheese are the stars of some sandwiches, while others include meats.
Chilly Chicken will offer dairy- and sugar-free options, Grimm said. Most ice creams are gluten-free, with some exceptions.
In the future, Grimm hopes to concoct “adult” treats, such as beer floats and Baileys milkshakes.
He wants to develop the area behind the building into a place to spend time with family and friends, with picnic tables and corn hole boards.
Grimm views opening Chilly Chicken Creamery as a way to breathe life back into the community. He hopes that there are many more people just like him who enjoy ice cream any time of year, whether it’s 100 degrees outside or snow covers the ground.
Chilly Chicken Creamery is open from 3-9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 3-10 p.m. on Fridays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sundays, and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, visit chillychickencreamery.com. The creamery can be found on Facebook and Instagram @chillychickencreamery.