Had a Happy Cow

I love ice cream. So imagine my delight when I find myself on a sunny, Sunday afternoon biking downtown on the Happy Cow ice cream bicycle.

The bells jingle as I bike back and forth along the street, freshly made ice cream sandwiches, popsicles and pints of sorbet in my cooler. Kids run towards me, their parents in tow, as if I were heaven sent. An ice cream queen, of sorts.

This is something I could get used to.

I received an invite a few days before to join Dan Worth and Wendy Lyn (owners of Happy Cow Ice Cream & Desserts) at their quaint little ice cream shop just off Hwy. 3. Having never actually made ice cream, I was beyond thrilled.

I arrive around noon on a Friday in July and walk into the soft pink and blue-painted shop. Already I’m in love. There’s a freezer stacked with pints of homemade ice cream and cakes. There are fresh-baked cupcakes and bags of sponge toffee. Stainless steel pots and pans hang from a rack in the ceiling.

I’m invited into the back where, after washing up, Wendy passes me a Happy Cow hat and a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie.

“Eat it,” she says. Wendy takes the rest of the cookies and heads to the soft-serve machine, where she begins making giant ice cream sandwiches.

I start following Dan, the ice cream man, as he explains to me the ins and outs of ice cream making. Happy Cow uses the “French method” to make its ice cream. The custard (milk, egg yolks) heats on a hot plate to 170 degrees, at which time the cream is added. Then it goes into the fridge overnight.

The next day the custard comes out, is flavoured with natural ingredients, runs through the batch freezer and into tubs and pints. Then it goes into the blast freezer for one more night before being served the next day.

I follow Dan as he instructs me on the custard. At the same time he whips up a bowl of waffle cone mix and tells me a bit about Happy Cow’s selections.

Banana split, mango, caramel fudge, chocolate cherry and mint chocolate chip (with fresh, organic mint from Wendy’s garden). There is sorbet (vegan friendly), sherbet and ice cream.

“Variety is the spice of life,” says Dan. “And we’ve got over 35 varieties.”

We soon pour a blueberry custard into the batch freezer and watch as it thickens into sherbet. After it goes into the blast freezer, we start making a tub of caramel fudge; frozen chocolate fudge combined with deliciously crunchy chunks of caramel and chocolate ice cream. Even now as I write this, my mouth is watering.

As Wendy scoops a perfectly round ice cream scoop into a cone for a hungry customer, she tells me that ice cream is an art form. Not just the size or shape of the scoop, but the consistency of the ice cream itself.

We finish up in the shop and before I leave Wendy schedules me in for a day on the Happy Cow bike (also known as a Dickey Dee). Two days later here I am, biking through the Sunday Social downtown, jingling bells and looking for eager customers.

It’s not long before I am chased down by a little boy on a bike who wants a yellow (mango) popsicle. As I hand him his treat his eyes widen with delight.

“Thank you,” he says, before promptly finding a seat to perch himself on.

All afternoon I hand out popsicles, pints and ice cream sandwiches to smiling people. It’s true that people are happier with ice cream.

As I finish my shift and begin biking back to the shop, I pull an ice cream sandwich from the cooler and take what I consider to be a well-deserved bite. The heat is glaring and the ice cream quickly melts, but it is utterly delicious.

“Don’t eat all the product,” two elderly men yell, as they drive by. I can hear them laugh.

How could I not? After a hot afternoon of ice cream selling, this girl is one Happy Cow.

For other ice cream treats in town visit Dairy Queen, the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Beanpod and the Side Street Sweet Shoppe.