Anna Sones has always fondly looked back on her high school job at Steve's Ice Cream in Cambridge, Mass.
"It was one of the best times of my life, she said. "It was so fun scooping - there was loud music, weird flavors, and everybody was happy. The whole store was full of happy people."
So even through college at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her career as a wetlands consultant, ice cream was always on her mind. And a few years back, she finally decided it was "the time." She thought, "I want to do something that makes me happy."
So Sones enrolled in an ice cream course at Penn State Creamery - Ben and Jerry both took it - bought a blast freezer and an industrial ice cream maker - "the check-writing went nuts," Sones joked - and that was it. In June of 2011, Higgles Ice Cream was born.
Through Higgles - Sones' maiden name is Higgins, Higgles was an old nickname - Sones gets her flavor inspirations from local ingredients, creations she imagines in her head, and suggestions. Some of her handiwork includes a mint julep, maple bacon chocolate, lavender peach and ginger peach. Last year, she even experimented with a candied jalepeno (she got the candies at a farmers market).
"I get inspiration from local markets, and whenever I am traveling," she said. "It's endless, there are an infinite number of flavors you can do."
Since blackberries are in season, she's currently thinking of blackberry cheesecake, or blackberry lavender. She has some organic raspberries, and is imagining a raspberry with a hint of rose water .
The dairy she uses is free of the bovine growth hormone rBGH, and comes from Colorado. Her ice cream contains real sugar, not corn syrup, and is free of pesticides and dyes. If it wasn't, "I couldn't in good conscience give it to a kid," Sones said.
Currently, Higgles is sold in pints at Peak Provisions in Silverthorne, Alpine Market in Frisco and The Local Market in Breckenridge. Sones, along with her 13-year-old daughter, can be found scooping every Friday at the Dillon Farmers Market, and will be at Frisco's Fourth of July celebration.
Sones loves her new business - from making the ice cream, to handing it to people and seeing their faces - and says she's constantly having a blast. But someday, she does hope to re-create her Steve's Ice Cream experience for Summit County teens. Sones imagines a Summit County Higgles store, "where the line is going around-the-building," where the music is happy, and local kids hope to, and feel proud of, working at.
"That's what I would want the most," Sones said.
> Sones is always looking for new ice cream flavor ideas, and urges people to make suggestions on her Facebook page, or through the contact information on her website.