North Sound Companies Deliver a Cool Treat for the Ages

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, had it right when he had his Greek patients eat ice for their health. “It livens the life-juices and increases the well-being,” he said. The same could be said of another kind of icy treat that would come along later. Anyone who has ever pulled off the road for a frozen-custard cone on a hot summer day has to agree that ice cream can have a similar effect.

In the North Sound, our short (but intense) summers and long winters, in different ways, leave us seeking ice cream’s boost to our well-being. In the next pages, we tell the stories of four local ice cream companies who commercially distribute their soul-boosting, creamy-cool dessert. We also salute shops that make their own.

Historical records show George Washington and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed ice cream, and in 1813, President James Madison’s wife, Dolley, served strawberry ice cream in the White House in her husband’s second inaugural banquet.

Ice cream’s history in the U.S. is a rich one. Spurred by the invention of the insulated icehouse around 1800 and sugar’s increasing affordability, the frozen treat became available to more than just the elites. Mass production of ice cream started in 1851, when a Baltimore dairyman named Jacob Fussell found use for his surplus cream by building the first commercial ice cream factory in Pennsylvania, with his frozen goods then shipped to Baltimore by train. The ice cream cone was popularized during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.

Ice cream can even be credited as something of a secret weapon for the U.S. in World War II. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the U.S. Armed Forces found the treat boosted morale, and became the world’s largest ice cream manufacturer in 1943, with the troops as beneficiaries. On the other side, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini banned ice cream, seen as an American symbol, in his country. A dictator’s power thwarted by a frozen mixture of milk, cream and sugar? Perhaps a recipe for our current times. Two scoops, please.

Home Made, Heaven Sent

Here are some of the best-known, local ice cream shops that make their own in the North Sound (frozen yogurt and gelato shops not included).

Whatcom County

Mallard Ice Cream

1323 Railroad Ave., downtown Bellingham
360.734.3884 |

Rocket Donuts & Acme Ice Cream

306 W. Holly St., Downtown Bellingham

1021 Harris Ave., Fairhaven

Edaleen Dairy (main shop)

9595 Guide Meridian Rd., Lynden

For other locations, see

Skagit County

Lopez Island Creamery Scoop Stand (summer only)

1019 Q Ave., Anacortes
360.299.8200 |

Skagit Valley Food Co-op

The Co-op Building, 202 S. 1st St., Mt. Vernon
360.336.9777 |

Island & Snohomish Counties

Kapaws Iskreme

21 Front St., Coupeville | 360.929.2122
(House-made chocolate and vanilla)

Whidbey Island Ice Cream Co.

1715 E. Main St., Freeland
360.331.1111 |

Snoqualmie Ice Cream

21106 86th Ave. SE, Snohomish
360.668.2912 |

Continue reading featured Ice Cream stories here.

"Two scoops, please."