…We All ‘Sing’ for Ice Cream!
Ayla and Mary Ludwig of Singing Poplars know there’s not much that brings on as much satisfaction as a cool treat on a warm summer day. And with the summer months just around the bend (we TBayers hope!), we’ll soon be searching out the perfect flavour of ice cream to cool those tastebuds.
Singing Polars is one of Thunder Bay’s newest ice cream providers who has recently joined us at the market as a regular vendor, specializing in non-dairy and non-gluten ice cream treats. With much previous experience in working with foods, Ayla began experimenting in ice cream making after her mother, Mary, got her involved. From there, the two began expanding in both equipment and range of flavours, which has since put them in the spotlight right here in our community. Two years ago, Ayla made their ice cream recipes seasonally available to the public through smaller local shops like Willow Springs Creative Centre and Espresso Joya. As the two find themselves going into their third summer in business, they find many reasons to continue to expand their market and flavour selections. In March, all of Singing Poplars’ products (except full-dairy ice cream) became available at the market and they’ve become a popular sweet treat that has left many ice cream lovers satisfied.
Interested shoppers will find classic flavours available like Vanilla Bean, Creamy Chocolate and Vanilla Strawberry. Or opt for a more unique flavour, available as limited weekly features, including Lemon, Green Tea, and Vanilla with Chocolate Flakes. During the early summer months until early fall, you’ll even find a few seasonally-featured fruit flavours available, including Blueberry, Strawberry, and Raspberry. New to their lineup of flavours, and Northern-Ontario inspired, why not try Spruce Tip or Saskatoon? Ayla and Mary continue to satisfy their customers, experimenting with different flavours while taking on the initiative to use local ingredients wherever possible.
Of course, Singing Polars’ claim-to-fame, and quite possibly what’s made the products so popular, is their ability to incorporate non-dairy and non-gluten recipes for those of you with dairy and gluten intolerance. Many customers become returning customers just for that fact. Ayla and Mary offer many specialty flavours as a non-dairy alternative made from coconut milk that most say is just as tasty as their full-dairy flavours! You can purchase Singing Poplars’ ice cream in pints and scoops. But the fun doesn’t stop there! They have perfected their recipe of a classic ice cream sandwich, both non-dairy and non-gluten! Try their Totally Intolerant Sandwich, a delicious slab of creamy ice cream between 2 delectable, home-made cookies. Or try their Ice Cream Bars, dipped in chocolate and loaded with toasted coconut. Looking for something totally unique and equally satisfying? Try their fittingly-named Yummy-Nummies, cubes of bite-sized vanilla ice cream in a dark chocolate and rice crispy coating, perfect for snacking while shopping.
Other places where you’ll find her products on a more seasonal-base include Willow Springs Creative Centre (open end of June until September) and Espresso Joya. Note that at Willow Springs you will find both their dairy and non-dairy products, while Espresso Joya only carries their non-dairy products. It’s at these locations where you can also enjoy their full-dairy ice creams. Future prospects have got Ayla dreaming in starting a small ice cream shop or food truck, while expanding their product availability to more retail outlets. But for now, they have particularly enjoyed getting to know shoppers at the market, where they have been able to test launch their products. You’ll find their creamy treats on the second floor, right next to Pie•ology. So don’t delay, because come summer, we’ll ALL be singing for ice cream!