Ice cream shop to open Saturday on the Square

Photo courtesy Libby's Gourmet Ice Cream

From local sources

JASPER — Libby’s Gourmet Ice Cream will open at 609 Main St. at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Bright yellow, orange and green tables and chairs and the smiles of owners Matt and Libby Sanders will greet customers who stop by to try the shop’s homemade ice cream. The location on the Square most recently housed Chocolate Bliss.

Matt began making ice cream with his dad, Jim, when he was 15 or 16 and growing up in Bedford.

“There were two recipes, his and mine. Mine was better,” Matt said, laughing.

Back then, the duo depended on rock salt and a bucket to make ice cream for family events. A year ago Libby bought Matt an electric ice cream machine that made small batches and left the mess of the rock salt and part of the expense of making ice cream behind. The saved money was put toward creating new ice cream flavors, like cherry cordial.

Libby, an emergency room nurse at Indiana University Health Bedford Hospital, took dozens of pints of ice cream to work, seeking thumbs-up or thumbs-down reviews.

“The cherry cordial ice cream was not a success right away,” Matt said. “It took at least five tries before I got it right.”

As the ice cream grew in popularity with friends and family members, Matt decided to sell pints of his creations from his Bedford home, with Libby decorating each container by hand. After selling several hundred pints of ice cream, he decided to quit his job as general manager of PDQ Rentals in Jasper and open a shop featuring 22 flavors of his homemade ice cream.

“It’s always been a dream of mine and Libby was behind me 100 percent,” Matt said, adding that the couple will be moving to Jasper.

Matt takes making ice cream seriously. He roasts and butters his own pecans for the butter pecan, uses real fruit for flavors including strawberry and orange cream and uses chunks of high-end chocolate for mint chocolate chip. Other flavors include bubble gum, pistachio, coconut and Black and Tan, a peanut butter ice cream with marble chucks made from peanut butter and Nutella.

Sugar-free ice cream will be available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.

The shop will feature a special flavor each month — the first is maple bacon — and offer homemade waffle cones, kid-size servings and an array of ice cream treats, including shakes and banana splits.

The ice cream also will be available in pints. Customers not sure which flavor to try may taste as many flavors as necessary to help make a decision.

Libby’s Gourmet Ice Cream will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

The phone number is 481-2025. Libby’s Gourmet Ice Cream is also on Facebook.

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