Here’s the scoop: Ice cream is coming to East Dracut! And not just any ice cream.
Anyone who knows their ice cream knows there are three stands in Dracut – all of them in the western part of town: Frosty boy Dracut mass, Mike's Ice Cream Stand and Shaw Farm.
Farmer Dave's, at 437 Parker Road, will get its just desserts when it opens an ice-cream stand. Dave's will have a dry run sometime in April, with an eye toward opening widely to the public in May. It will be the first ice-cream stand in the eastern half of Dracut.
The new farm store at Farmer Dave’s opened last summer, and since then, the crew has been adding elements. As co-owner Jane Bowie said, “Ice cream is the last missing piece.”
Even better, especially for fans of Shaw Farm ice cream, Farmer Dave’s will be scooping Shaw’s products, thanks to a partnership forged between the two farms.
“Warren’s the first one I contacted when we decided to scoop ice cream,” Jane said. “It’s a perfect fit. We’re already selling their ice cream and their milk in the farm store, and we wanted to support local. It’s a no-brainer. We work well with Shaw Farm. We’re very supportive of each other.
“Shaw Farm provides an excellent product, so why wouldn’t we?” she added. “They do a great job. It’s an amazing family-run business, and they’ve been very accommodating. They understand what it means to have a family and to run a business.”
The ice-cream stand will be at the front, to the left, as you drive up to Farmer Dave’s farm store. There are three windows.
“We’ll scoop 18 to 20 of Shaw’s flavors,” Jane said. “We’re going to keep it simple to start, and let the community dictate what happens from there.”
Tracey Valera, Farmer Dave’s kitchen manager, will be in charge of the ice-cream stand along with Denise Lee, the farm’s operations manager. Both spent a few hours working at Shaw Farm learning the ropes of scooping ice cream from Shaw store manager Donna Ramalho.
“It was originally part of the plan for the new farm store,” Jane said, “but we wanted to first ensure that the kitchen operations and the farmstand operations were up and running, so we decided opening in stages was the best thing to do.”
During the soft opening for the hard ice cream, Farmer Dave’s will be open Fridays, Saturday and Sunday. Once school is out for the summer, it will expand to seven days.
Jane hopes having ice cream available in the eastern half of town – and Shaw Farm ice cream, no less – will be a big draw. Though it’s not as if driving to Shaw Farm from East Dracut is a hardship, it certainly will cut down on travel time to get your Shaw’s fix closer to home.
“So many regulars come in here, and they’re already buying their Shaw Farm ice cream and milk here, so this will be much more convenient for them,” Jane said.