Lovingly Churned and Joyfully Scooped Ice Cream
From Love Creamery and Nicole Wilde
Eating ice cream is one of life’s great pleasures. Nicole Wilde, the owner of Love Creamery, gets to see the joy her handmade ice cream brings to people, young and old, at both of her “scoop shops” in Lincoln Park and Canal Park.
Wilde was born in Milwaukee and moved to Bayfield in 1998 to be Big Top Chautauqua’s marketing manager. Later, she moved to Duluth to take a position in marketing with Cirrus and a teaching job in marketing and business with UMD.
“I have always wanted to own a business. I decided I wanted to choose a product that people liked and that I could be creative with myself,” she explained.
Working with a fellowship from the University of Wisconsin, various economic development organizations and her own idea for a Main Street kind of revitalization project, she set her sights on a location in Lincoln Park.
In 2018, when she first moved into the space next to Frost River, OMC restaurant was just opening, but there were many empty storefronts and buildings up and down the street. Since then, the Lincoln Park business district has grown by leaps and bounds.
“I love to see how much that Main Street feeling has come to Lincoln Park. There is wonderful energy with several young entrepreneurs and a real sense of community spirit and mentorship.”
Her new Love Creamery shop opened in Canal Park in June of last year. Wilde says that it too is a vibrant community with businesses working cooperatively together.
“We make all of our own ice cream every day in both locations, with small batches, ten quarts per batch. We like to vary our flavors seasonally,” she said.
They have four flavors all the time, dark chocolate, buttermilk vanilla, salted caramel, and Nicole’s personal favorite, mint chocolate chip. They also feature dairy-free and vegan choices at both locations, and they make their own gluten-free waffle cones daily. With their four “default” flavors, they have room for many creative flavors seasonally and throughout the year in their 16 dipping cases.
Love Creamery has its own ice cream wagon that they station on Park Point at Sky Harbor, and they use the wagon to cater weddings, graduation and other parties. Their ice cream is also sold at a number of local retailers.
On their website, Wilde noted, “Ice cream and sustainable farming are two of our driving passions. So, we went on a quest to find local farms, businesses and people who share our great passions for community, food and the environment as partners to craft scoops that we believe are responsibly sourced,”
Since she wanted to do a “farm-to-cone model” for their farm fresh ingredients, they have partnered with Autumnwood Family Dairy, Northwind Organic Farm, Duluth Coffee Company, Zenith Tea Works, Glensheen Mansion Gardens, Farm Lola, Northern Soda, Bar Bell Bee Ranch, Positively Third Street Bakery, Saltless Sea Urban Farm, David Rogotske Family Sugarbush and more.
Love Creamery’s creative selections vary frequently, with Wilde, her employees, and even customers coming up with new flavor ideas. Some present and past favorites include salted caramel, chai tea, salted peanut butter Newman O’s cookies, whiskey pecan (with Vikre honor brand whiskey), toasted coconut fudge, goat cheese with brandied cherries, roasted banana chip, vegan maple walnut, vegan lavender, salted honey, honeycomb, milk chocolate and assorted sorbets.
Also on the menu are ice cream flights with tray space for small scoops of six flavors of the customer’s choosing, ice cream sandwiches, ice cream bars, ice cream puffs, floats, shakes and malts. They also serve espressos and affogatos, an Italian coffee-based dessert with a scoop of ice cream and a shot of hot espresso.
Both of Wilde’s scoop locations and her popups treat their customers, tourists and locals, to an experience in the world of ice cream that is unlike any other place. “We have had tourists who say they come up here from the Twin Cities, just to have our ice cream, and visit some other places while they are here,” she said with a laugh.
On her website, she noted, “At Love Creamery, our goal is to make Duluth’s best ice cream, and we are focused on making every ice cream flavor as delicious as possible. We know ice cream is just better when made from real ingredients. That is why we thoughtfully select every ingredient and lovingly prepare every flavor, every scoop.”
Wilde’s tremendous success was recently acknowledged with Love Creamery being recognized as the 2022 Best Ice Cream Parlor in the Midwest by Midwest Living Magazine.
Of her future plans, Wilde said, ”We are looking at potential spots for other locations, nothing to give specifics about yet.” Wherever Wilde next shares her passion for ice cream, she is sure to have the “inside scoop” on knowing what makes a wonderful treat.
This unattributed quote sums up the essence of the magic of ice cream. “You can't buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream, and that is pretty much the same thing."
For more on Love Creamery, visit their website at lovecreamery.com