BEST ICE CREAM, Haymarket/Gainesville
For a business that’s been open just two years, it’s safe to say that Cookies & Cream is doing pretty well for itself. Between its premium hard-serve ice cream, soft cookies, and specialty sodas, it offers sweet treats for every kind of sweet tooth. “I think that we kind of found a niche where we serve hard-serve ice cream. I think it’s kind of classic and traditional, and not a lot of places are doing a hard-serve ice cream anymore. So, it’s kind of something unique in our area. And our homemade cookies, I mean who doesn’t like a frosted cookie? And then we also serve our signature drinks, which are new to our area, and they’re a different option,” said owner Robyn Candland.
Robyn and her husband Pete Candland actually got the idea for the business by visiting college towns in Utah. “We saw these little stands in college towns, these small footprints in parking lots, where they just served cookies and drinks. And cars were lined up around the block to get into these places, and they were just little drive-thrus! And I thought, wow, that’s such a fun idea, you just grab a little snack and off you go, and so that’s kind of how we started the idea,” said Robyn.
Cookies & Cream is a popular spot for families and teenagers alike, bringing everyone together to revel in the creamy deliciousness it serves daily. “I tell people all the time that if I didn’t work there so much, this is a place I’d take my family to and hang out,” laughed Robyn. From the second you walk inside the little blue house, you know you’ve made a good decision about where to get your sugar fix. And, after you order, a server delivers your treat straight to your table, either inside or outside on the beautiful patio where picnic tables await and strands of bright lights glisten.
Oh and let’s not forget that Cookies & Cream offers the perfect spot for an ice cream selfie. Strike a pose with the bear statue out front, and snap away. According to Robyn, the bear started its life as a beautiful tree that had to be taken down because it had been struck by lightning multiple times. “We just had this giant tree stump, in the front, and we wondered, ‘How can we incorporate this?’ The guy who carved him helped us come up with the idea, and our employees helped name him. His name is Clawford H. Bearover, and Bearover is in honor of the Harover family who owned the house before it was sold to the town of Haymarket.”
In terms of community involvement, Cookies & Cream is all about spirit nights. Explains Robyn, “We’ve had church groups, non-profit groups, schools, and swim teams. It’s a lot of fun. The groups publicize the evening and get involved by providing volunteers who deliver orders. Plus they get 20 percent of all the sales we do during the event. Spirit nights are a great way to support the community and they’re also great advertising. Groups bring their people to us and they get to see what we offer. It’s a win-win.”
Discover for yourself why Cookies & Cream was voted best ice cream shop for 2018. Pay them a visit at 14600 Washington Street in Haymarket. For more information, visit CookiesAndCreamShop.com, and keep up with specials and events on Facebook at @CookiesAndCreamShop.