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A Bit about Abi's Ice Cream

In graduate school, a friend and I tossed around the idea of opening an ice cream shop. We had written

a business plan and were prepared to open when we finished school. However life and family took us

different ways—literally. After a few cross-country moves, my family and I landed in Coeur d’Alene, ID.

We had just moved to the quaint Pacific Northwest town in northern Idaho, perched on the banks of

Coeur d’Alene Lake, and nestled against the Bitterroot Range. The food scene was up-and-coming, still

missing a locally owned ice cream store that provided frozen treats made from scratch with high-quality

ingredients. The existing ice cream parlors in and around town sold mass-produced ice cream shipped

from outside the area. Coeur d’Alene needed a locally owned and operated ice cream store that could

compliment and elevate the local food scene. It was time to put the dream of opening an ice cream shop

to the test.

Within three months of moving to Coeur d’Alene, I leased an 800-square-foot space with beautiful

floor-to-ceiling windows and a covered patio—a rare commodity coveted by restaurant owners in the

downtown area. The location was perfect for my vision! However, not everyone agreed. Many people

asked why I was opening an ice cream store where it snowed so many months of the year. I replied

we all need ice cream all year long! I leased the space, hired a contractor, and set to work designing an

open-kitchen concept and building out the space. We finished renovations and opened within five

months, on April 1, 2016—no kidding!

Abi’s was designed as a space for creativity and collaboration between employees and guests. It was

my place to be around food and to share it with everyone who walked through the door. It was a

place of inspiration. I could experiment with unique flavor combinations and improve upon classics.

The creative process was gratifying. Sharing the creations with customers was extremely fulfilling.

Connecting with people—whether customers or employees—over food forms bonds that last a

lifetime. A smile or inquisitive look evoked by a new flavor brought me immense joy. I couldn’t have

asked for a better experience, and I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to touch so many

lives through food. In addition to contributing to the burgeoning food scene, I had a mission to bring quality jobs to the area. As a female entrepreneur, I wanted to create an encouraging and inclusive work environment. I had the pleasure of working with many different people and I truly miss every one of my employees. They helped make Abi’s a success by providing service and hospitality to every person who walked through the door to find their favorite sweet treat.

Abi’s Ice Cream was named after my daughter,Abigail. Every day I went to work, I smiled to think of the little girl for whom the business was named.Just like Abigail, Abi’s Ice Cream was creative and playful. It was a place where we could come together with our unique points of view to create flavorful, creative, and fun products.

At the time of my retirement, we had upwards of ninety flavors of ice cream, which I want to share in this cookbook. Of course not every recipe is included but

hopefully the recipes in this cookbook will serve as a template on which you can build your creativity and bring your ideas to the table. One important note about

Abi’s Ice Cream: the shop was completely tree nut and peanut-free. I had the pleasure of witnessing the joyous moments in which people experienced ice cream for

the very first time, free from the fear of allergic reaction. These moments propelled me every day and added to my sense of purpose. My daughter Abigail, who has

tree nut and peanut allergies, saw there were others like her and felt connection through this shared life experience. As a parent of a child with life-threatening allergies,

I had a keen sense of the fear and then the relief that comes upon learning a food is completely safe. I wanted to provide that feeling for my customers as well. I can’t

tell you how gratifying running the business was to me and my family.

 

Thank you to everyone for all the support over the years, as well as your continued interest in Abi’s

Ice Cream. Enjoy!

With the Love of Ice Cream,

Maren & Abi

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