November 30, 2021

Ice cream trail aims to boost tourism

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Super Scoops patron Colt Badman, of Onondaga, gets a “twist with rainbows” soft serve cone Wednesday at the Homer ice cream stand.

A new way to experience Cortland can be found online and throughout the county. It involves a simple recipe — one map, 10 places and a cornucopia of flavors.

As part of its #ExperienceCortland initiative, the Cortland County Convention and Visitors Bureau has added a flavorful new item — an ice cream trail — to boost tourism. “We did it a few years ago, but decided to revamp it again,” said Megan Eves, the bureau’s social media marketing specialist.

Eves said the idea for the trail came from that nostalgic summer feeling of getting in the car and just driving. The map features 10 ice cream stands across the county and DeRuyter.

Along with taking the time to go to the ice cream stands on the map, Eves hopes to increase people’s participation on the #ExperienceCortland social media sites by encouraging people to snap a photo of them and their ice cream and post it to social media with the hashtag.

Destinations on the map include:

Super Scoops
Owner Mike Malchak said the ice cream stand in Homer sells Purity brand ice cream. One of the popular flavors — custard and black raspberry twist, Malchak said. The shop also hosts a car show Wednesday nights, and while at the shop guests can relax in the dining area. Malchak said the TV is always on. “I play the ‘Three Stooges’ all day long.”

Dave’s Dairy Treat
In Cincinnatus, Dave’s Dairy Treat offers a variety of food to accompany its ice cream, said owner Sharon Constantino. On the ice cream menu however, are some specialty items. Constantino said the ice cream stand offers special sundaes and an upside down banana split. Some of the specialty sundaes the business offers include peanut butter and jelly, and cannoli. Besides the ice cream and food, an 18-hole minigolf course and free concerts are available to customers, Constantino said.

Poole’s Drive-in
A lot of people stop by the Route 13 business for homemade pie and ice cream, said Laurie Poole, owner of Poole’s Drive-In. “We’re known for our homemade pie.” Poole makes pies in a variety of flavors, all berries. “All the berry pies are made to order.” The family-owned business does quite well with its Byrne Dairy ice cream and pies. The biggest seller is the homemade apple pie a la mode, Poole said.

Super Cream
The ice cream stand along Route 281 in Homer specializes in homemade hard ice cream. There are over 30 flavors of hard ice cream offered, said owner Julie Dann. Besides the normal flavors like chocolate and vanilla, the business offers unusual flavors like coconut creme pie and English butter toffee. Two of the recent best sellers include thin mint swirl and cookie monster. The cookie monster features a blue cotton candy ice cream with Chips Ahoy cookies, Dann said. The thin mint swirl is a mixture of mint ice cream with fudge and chopped up thin mints. “We’ve sold 10 gallons already in less than a week,” Dann said.

Country Flavors
For anyone who can’t eat dairy, Country Flavors in Little York offers alternatives. Owner Rosemary Phillips said two items offered are a Dole Whip and a sorbet. “The sorbet target people who can’t have dairy.” The Dole Whip is a soft serve made lactose-free, while the sorbet uses water and fruit to make a sherbet-like treat, Phillips said. “This allows someone who can’t have dairy to have something.” The stand also offers traditional ice cream.

Brain Freeze Madness
At 123 S. Main St. in Homer, owner Teresa Wallace at Brain Freeze Madness sells Gifford’s and Bassetts ice cream, Wallace said. The Gifford’s ice cream offered is a 16 percent premium while the Bassetts ice cream is a 14 percent premium. What does the percentage mean? “The higher the percentage the more butterfat is in the ice cream,” Wallace said.

Little Treat Shoppe
Alexis Caughey, daughter of owner Debra Caughey, said the ice cream stand in Cortlandville offers a variety of items. One item is the stand’s strawberry milkshake, Alexis Caughey said. “We mix real strawberries into the shake,” she said.
People can also order off the food menu if they like, Alexis Caughey said.

Footie’s Freez in Cortlandville, Dairyland Dipper in Marathon and Drift In in DeRuyter could not be reached.