Fans flock to Mason’s Creamery in Ohio City for its daily churn of inventive, small-batch flavors of ice cream inspired by travel, the environment, the seasonality of local and foraged ingredients, and even crowdsourced suggestions. “Since we opened in 2014, we’ve made over 1,000 flavors. Being small keeps us nimble and able to introduce new flavors daily,” said co-founder Jesse Mason. So, basically, expect the unexpected this summer, as most flavor inspirations arise whimsically, yet are executed with a thoughtful sourcing philosophy.
The week’s flavor planning typically begins on Sundays. “We look at the week’s weather, and see what’s available from our local vendors [including Refugee Response, Beet Jar, Wholesome Valley Farm, and Cleveland Tea Revival],” Jesse said. Cooler days may prompt warmer flavors—think charcoal black sesame or Vietnamese coffee, while warmer days bring out flavors like pink grapefruit sorbet or—who knows—a juneberry or pawpaw soft-serve. Vegan versions made with cashews, coconut, or homemade oat milk also are available. “Food trends are gearing more toward nostalgic flavors. French toast and our cereal ice creams are really popular,” he said.
Any featured flavor can be ordered in a dish, made-from-scratch waffle cone, ice cream sandwich, shake, affogato or atop an egg waffle.
This summer, inspired by a recent trip to Hawaii, Jesse and his partner, Helen Qin, will be serving customized shaved ice featuring crowd-sourced flavors made with in-house syrups from a camper located next to the shop. Also, expect popular events to return, including movie nights with food trucks, pet adoption festivities, and special fundraisers. A nearby tent with white lights and plenty of picnic tables provides the perfect opportunity to linger and chat with friends and fellow patrons over ice cream. “It’s all about community here,” Jesse said.
Mason’s Creamery is located at 4401 Bridge Avenue in Cleveland. Summer hours are Tuesdays–Thursdays, and Sundays 2pm–10pm, and Fridays and Saturdays, 2pm–11pm. For more information, call 216.762.1095, visit MasonsCreamery.com, or follow their tantalizing @masonscreamery on Instagram.