Fox Meadows Creamery & Country Market focuses on farm-to-table food, with ice cream being the main attraction. The critical ingredient — milk — doesn’t have far to travel, as the creamery, which is located along Route 322 outside of Ephrata, is adjacent to the Fox family farm.
A little more than two years ago, the Fox family – parents, Bob and Ruthie, and sons, Chad and his wife, Andrea, and Corey and his wife, Krista – decided to expand on the third generation farm’s dairy operation by opening a cow-to-cone creamery. Milk from the farm’s dairy cows is used to produce hand-crafted ice cream in a unique array of flavors.
According to Andrea, Fox Meadows Creamery’s mission is to “refresh, inspire and provide enjoyment. We’re passionate about the farm-to-table concept,” she explains. “We take care of our cows so they’re healthy and happy. They produce quality farm-fresh milk that’s hormone-free, and we keep our ice cream all-natural including the add-ins.”
The creamery and market allow Chad and Corey to continue their childhood enjoyment of welcoming guests to the farm. “Chad and Corey grew pumpkins and sold them at a roadside stand as kids,” Andrea explains. “They were excited about seeing people come to the farm.”
July is National Ice Cream Month, with July 16 regarded as National Ice Cream Day. Fox Meadows is the perfect place to celebrate, as there are more than two dozen ice cream flavors on the menu. Top-selling flavors are vanilla (that includes hand-dipped and packaged), Wilbur chocolate and salted caramel pretzel. Honey lavender also deserves a mention. “It’s a flavor that catches people off-guard. It can be really vibrant at first and then it gets a bit softer [on the palate],” Chad explains.
“We like to get creative with our flavors, and we have two new flavors each month,” he notes. For example, brown butter almond brickle, which debuted in May, features that oh-so Lancaster County flavor of brown butter (think brown butter noodles) and the old-fashioned taste of almond brittle. Black & blue cheesecake was added to the menu in late June. It features homemade cheesecake with ribbons of blackberry and blueberry. “It combines two of the great flavors of summer,” Chad points out.
As guests stare into the ice cream case, the wonderful presentation – and perhaps a small spoonful of a taste – may help sway the decision of what flavor (or flavors) to enjoy. Additions could include mini-pretzels, mini-peanut butter cups or even gingerbread men. And, whether it’s scooped into a dish, cone or homemade waffle cone or bowl, the creation looks too good to eat. “We view it as art. We’re passionate about the presentation and the quality,” Chad stresses.
Need a dessert for dinner? No problem: Ice cream can be purchased in pints and half-gallons in the market area.
Signature ice cream treats include shakes (there’s even a roasted variety that entails espresso), floats (made with cane sugar soda), and affogato (ice cream, espresso, whipped cream and a Pirouette). For a real taste sensation, try the Baked Fox – a hot-pressed sweet outer shell (chocolate chip cookie, brownie or carrot cake) with cold ice cream inside.
Coffee, tea, espresso, hot chocolate, mocha, latte, frappes and other beverages are the perfect accompaniment.
Guest feedback is also heeded by the Fox family. “We’re in direct contact with our guests; we get inspired by their comments and suggestions,” Andrea remarks.
One of the suggestions was to add a lunch menu. Enter Chef Corbin Weaver, whose menu debuted in March. Continuing the story of Fox Meadows ice cream, the menu features locally sourced and sometimes artisanal items.
Burgers are made from beef raised on Stone Ridge Farm. The menu also features made-from-scratch soups, handcrafted sandwiches, fresh salads and sides. Fountain sodas are from Boylan Bottling. The “creamery pick two” not only includes two menu items, but it also includes the option to select an ice cream treat. There’s even a Little Foxes (children’s) menu.
Whether it’s lunch or ice cream, one of the creamery’s core values is service. “We view it as welcoming guests into our home,” Andrea says. Seating is available for about 100 – indoors at tables and a cozy seating area by the fireplace and outdoors on the wrap-around porch or patio that provides a view of the farm. There’s even a play area for kids.
“Our 37 team members are passionate about what they do. When guests have questions about our product, it’s nice to be able to take them to one of the back windows and point to our barn to show them where the milk is sourced. The creamery is an educational tool, helping to educate guests about cows and the dairy industry.”
The market also celebrates farm life and bases its selection of products on three criteria: taste, naturalness and authenticity. The market not only stocks Fox Meadows Creamery products, but it also features other locally produced foods such as September Farm cheeses, Christina Maser canned goods and Van Winkle’s opera fudge.
Lastly, Chad provides some insider tips for those wanting to avoid lines: Come before noon for lunch and before 7 p.m. for ice cream.
Fox Meadows Creamery & Country Market, 2475 West Main Street, Ephrata. Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.; closed Sunday. Lunch is available Monday through Friday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, call 717-721-6455 or visit foxmeadowscreamery.com, Facebook and Instagram.