Follow the Herd

Moo Thru a hit with locals for premium ice cream from real dairy farmers

On a Tuesday early afternoon, even with storm clouds quickly approaching, the line for ice cream at Moo Thru was still building, both by foot at the walk up window and by car at the drive through. Most visitors took their delicious treats to the outdoor picnic tables to enjoy but others took it with them on their ride home. If you live anywhere near Remington, Moo Thru is the place to go for hand-crafted ice cream, shakes, malts, and sundaes, but the smell of homemade waffles will tempt even those passing through down James Madison Highway.

Since June of 2010, families have flocked to Moo Thru for “real ice cream from real dairy farmers.” Founded by fourth-generation dairy farmer Ken Smith, the little red building is a landmark in the outskirts of the small town of Remington. The family farm, two miles away from the store, is where the Holstein cows are raised and fed the healthiest diet to produce the high quality milk for Moo Thru’s delectable treats. “We care about our farmland, our cows, and our community. Our ice cream is made from only the finest ingredients we can find, both locally sourced and from around the world,” said Smith and Chief Operating Officer Emily Julian.

The ice cream is handcrafted and slow-churned, Julian explained, pointing out that sometimes people don’t realize exactly what this means. Moo Thru’s ice cream is made literally by hand in small batches. There are no machines. Each batch is crafted by measuring out the ingredients individually by hand. Julian said, “You can taste the combination of the fresh milk, gourmet ingredients, and hand-crafted attention to detail in this premium product.” The result is a dense and pure ice cream unique to this charming little shop.

Among the honors Moo Thru has received are a designation as one of Virginia’s Finest Products, voted locally as “best” ice cream and dessert, and a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor. But Julian said the shop desires to be known also for its contributions to the community, such as supporting local schools and churches by hosting spirit nights and giving back to charities in addition to employing and mentoring the youth in the community.

In any given season, as many as 60 hard-working, diverse young people may be employed here — so many that one year Moo Thru had to close on Prom Night because there were no staff to work that night. “The kids here never cease to amaze me with how much they value their differences and help each other out,” said Julian. Even when they go off to college, most of them come back to work during the summers.

While the main favorites are consistent on the menu — hand-scooped cones, milk shakes banana splits, milk in a glass — the menu at Moo Thru also evolves year to year and season to season. Production team members are always finding new ways to add a twist to products to keep customers happy and coming back to try new flavors. A current new favorite is blackberry merlot with dark chocolate chunks and bourbon caramel. There is something for everyone; those who require dairy free can enjoy sorbets, and sugar-free ice cream is available on request.

So if you haven’t ventured out to Moo Thru, put it on your list of places to visit. Dog and kid-friendly, it will be a memorable evening out with the family. Go to moothru.com for directions and hours; they are closed on Mondays.

Christine Craddock
About Christine Craddock 78 Articles
Christine Craddock is a writer, editor, photographer, wife, and mother of two adorable children. She is a faithful contributing writer for Haymarket Lifestyle magazine and has resided in Haymarket since 2006.

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