by Kathryn Helmore
NORTH VANCOUVER – Gone are the days of walking into an ice cream parlour only to be confronted with the ultimate dairy-product dilemma. You want Chocolate Oreo, Strawberry Berry Berry Swirl, and Birthday Cake? Enter ice cream float: you can enjoy one with all three flavours and two more.
The float is one of the highlights of Welcome Parlour, a newly opened ice cream shop in North Vancouver. But it’s not all they have going for them. At the family-run and locally-sourced parlour located off Lonsdale in the 1912 heritage building, “the Hodson Block,” personality and authenticity are vital components of this establishment.
“At Welcome Parlour, we’re trying to make authentic small batch ice cream,” says owner Ian Widgery. “We try to create something that is very real. There are no colorings or synthetic flavorings, we use whole dairy cream, and we source locally. There is love and care that goes into every bite.”
At any given time, there are a maximum of 11 flavours of ice cream, carefully and deliberately picked by Widgery and his team of artisans. “We work with Eleanor Chow Waterfall of Cadeaux Bakery in Gastown,” Widgery says. “Together we come up with original recipes. Every month new flavors are offered.”
One of their most mouthwatering concoctions is Apple Pie. Instead of using synthetic flavourings, Chow Waterfall bakes an entire apple pie and then places it into a mixer, adding in the remaining ingredients required to create the impossibly smooth apple pie ice cream.
Welcome Parlour, which takes its name from a 1909 Lonsdale food and general store, also puts a unique twist on floats using kombucha and ginger beer — products of Green Leaf Brewing, located at Lonsdale Quay Market. Touches like these are quickly making the shop a staple in Vancouver’s artisan ice cream movement. For Widgery — who started his career in the United Kingdom as a music producer and has worked on projects for artists like David Bowie and U2 — it’s just about being inspired.
“I landed my first record deal at 17,” Widgery says. “So life started very early for me. I quickly learnt what was real and what wasn’t real. I learnt what true authenticity and creativity were. As such, these themes will always be the centre of my life — whether I’m producing music or selling ice cream.”
Welcome Parlour is located at 277 East 8th Street in North Vancouver.ice cream, north vancouver, welcome parlour