Summer has finally arrived, and plenty of people are screaming for ice cream. This year locavores in Eugene have a new option for the creamy frozen treat: Red Wagon Creamery, which sells seasonal, handcrafted ice cream made from scratch.
The brand is the brainchild of Chef Emily Phillips, who runs the business with her husband Stuart. Emily’s love for ice cream dates back to her childhood in North Carolina, where she would make ice cream with her family and sell it to her neighbors from her little red wagon.
After working as a professional chef for 10 years, Emily decided to go back to her roots. She spent nine months testing different ice creams and flavorings before she launched the ice cream stand (which really is painted bright red). She settled on a Philadelphia-style ice cream that doesn’t include eggs. “We did that for two reasons,” Emily says. “A lot of people are allergic to eggs, plus the fat in the egg yolk really coats the inside of your mouth and mutes the flavor. By leaving out the eggs, we found that the taste was more intense.”
While Red Wagon sells standard flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and coffee (called “Frozen Goat” because the coffee comes from Wandering Goat Coffee Company), they also offer some delicious seasonal choices. Lil’ Almond Annie mixes fresh cherries and smoked almonds into orange ice cream. Blackberry Cardamom Black Pepper is an unusual but satisfying combination.
Red Wagon also uses local and organic ingredients whenever possible. They’re committed to regularly rotating flavors with the seasons so they can take advantage of foods at their peak of freshness. Stuart admits that philosophy has its drawbacks. ”We put the tastiest, freshest foods possible in our ice cream and people love them. Then they get attached to those flavors and they’re gone,” he says. Emily pipes up: “But when those flavors are gone, there will always be something good there to replace them.”
Ice cream lovers wanting to get the scoop on Red Wagon Creamery will find them at the Lane County Farmers Market on Tuesdays, Kesey Square on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday nights, and the Springfield Farmers Market on Fridays. On Thursday afternoons, they hang out at PartyCart at 28th and Friendly in Eugene.
Want more than just a single serving? People who pre-order pints by Fridays at 5:00pm can have them delivered the following week, or can pick them up at PartyCart on Tuesdays. Red Wagon is also available for catering and special events.