This Tacoma ice cream shop is bringing the joy

Ice Cream Social has been thrilling taste buds in Tacoma since 2012. Their everyday flavors start at sumptuous (think Salted Caramel and Valhalla Coffee), and that’s just the beginning; Fig & Honey, Buttered Pecan, and Coconut Chocolate Chip also star in their cast of flavors. They emphasize whole ingredients sourced locally to Tacoma, from producers like Zestful Gardens and Libertine Tacoma Salt – in fact, they’re the only made-in-Tacoma ice cream. And they do it all for the smiles.

Ice Cream Social got its start when owner Layla Isaac, working at a cupcake shop as a decorator, was inspired by the joy she gave people with her sweet treats. Isaac had been a stay-at-home mom, and knew she wanted to own her own business. The cupcake shop was a step in her path, but, said Ice Cream Social’s Peri Beeles, Isaac chose ice cream because “it’s so universally loved.” And Tacoma’s homegrown ice cream parlor got its start.

After testing recipes in 2011, Isaac began selling at Tacoma-area farmers markets in 2012, and from there opened the scoop shop on Tacoma’s 6th Ave in June of 2014. Over the years, they’ve made ice cream a few different places – including Layla’s kitchen – and are now operating out of a space below the local post office. It sounds like a fitting place to whip up handcrafted ice cream and unusual flavors: “It’s a quirky space, with pink walls and multi-colored lockers,” said Beeles, who is Ice Cream Social’s Customer Relations & Sales Coordinator.

Photo courtesy of Ice Cream Social

Isaac originally started out experimenting with a custard base, but the regulations for using eggs proved unwieldy. In general, Beeles said, it’s been a challenge to meet their meet their own standards for flavor and quality while also meeting the USDA’s standards, as well as the criteria of the small, local businesses they want to work with. It’s an accomplishment they’re proud of.

The homemade flair and thoughtful ingredients make Ice Cream Social stand out, and it’s also an accessible treat. “A generous scoop of ice cream at our scoop shop is about four dollars, so a family of four can come in and get ice cream for less than 20 bucks,” Beeles pointed out. “It’s a good, inexpensive family thing to do.”

The best part of the job for the Ice Cream Social team: “Bringing joy to everyone who walks in,” declared Beeles. “They smile at the door because it smells like waffle cones. Young or old, everyone loves ice cream.”

Ice Cream Social already has a devout following at our 6th Ave store, and is now also available at our 16th & Madison store. Visit Ice Cream Social at their scoop shop at 2914 6th Ave, Tacoma.

Date: Tuesday March 29, 2016

Category: Producer Stories

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