Not long after one of the owners of Chill Ice Cream in Woodstock passed away unexpectedly this summer - as reported recently in THE BEE - Reed neighborhood resident Bryan Gilbert saw a notice online that the business was up for sale.
'For a long time we had been planning to buy a bar or a coffee shop,' explains Gilbert. He and his wife Sarah had not originally thought about buying an ice cream business - until they saw the listing.
The Gilberts and their twin daughters Ava and Grace had been customers of the ice cream shop for a number of years, and knew the store well. Gilbert says that after making a bid on the listing, the entire family began generating ideas for a variety of new ice cream treats and beverages. They decided they want to make it a fun and friendly experience for everyone, especially kids.
Ava and Grace, first graders in the Mandarin Immersion Program at Woodstock Elementary School, came up with the idea for a 'Unicone' - a sugar cone dipped in white chocolate, with sprinkles on top of ice cream of one's choice. So, it's on the menu.
The shop will also feature ice cream sandwiches and ice cream cakes made by pastry chef Andrea Bowers -- the 'Custom Dairy Fairy', based in North Portland.
The ice cream sandwiches, called 'Pie Creams', are two crusts in the shape of a piece of pie filled with ice cream. 'Malted French Silk' is malted chocolate ice cream with a dark chocolate piecrust. 'Cherry Bomb' is tart cherry ice cream with vanilla piecrust, and 'Snappy Goat' Pie Creams consist of lemon goat cheese ice cream with gingersnap pie crust.
Some of the ice cream cakes in stock recently were Ginger Pumpkin Chai, Malted Chocolate Cherry Bomb, and Mexican Coca Cola Cake. The name of the latter is somewhat of a mystery, as the ingredients listed are dark chocolate butter cake and vanilla chiffon cake, layered with caramel ice cream with a frosting of cinnamon butter cream and dark chocolate glaze.
The venerable ice cream shop intends to be a winter as well as a summer destination, by offering hot cocoa, self-serve Stumptown Coffee, and European drinking chocolate. 'European drinking chocolate is like drinking a high end chocolate bar,' smiles Gilbert. 'You can see it swirling around as the chocolate melts.'
Cold brewed Stumptown beverages - milk shakes, and ice cream floats, as well as ice cream floats made with Hotlips Soda - will be available for those who like old-fashioned, classic cold beverages year-'round.
Gilbert says he found it hard to leave his United Cerebral Palsy job so quickly in late September, but the circumstances of the business sale dictated the quick turn-around. For eight years he had worked in a UCP program that helps people with disabilities find employment.
Cloud City Ice Cream will be the new name of the shop, most recently known as Chill Ice Cream. New signs and remodeling will be finished by mid-December; local artist Guita Anderson designed the Cloud City logo and business cards.
Gilbert invites people to 'like' Cloud City Ice Cream on Facebook, and says Facebook will be a way to see photos of cakes, and to stay updated on ice cream specials.
Cloud City Ice Cream is located at 4525 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, on the south side of the Safeway Store next to Subway Sandwich, and is open from noon until 8 pm every day.