Cville Sweets Round-up: The Frozen Edition

Posted on August 16, 2013 by


Brrrrrrrr. We’d all love a little brrrr on those hot summer days, when it’s so humid outside, you might as well do the breaststroke instead of walk.

Luckily, Cville food vendors understand, and have created many delicious treats to help beat the heat. For Part II of the Cville Sweets Round-up, I explored some of the frozen offerings from locals eateries Milli Joe, Carpe Donut, Pantheon Pop Shop, Splendora’s, The NookStonefire Kitchen, and Nugget’s Raw Kombucha. Thanks to them, hot days seem more bearable, and more delicious.

milli 1Nick Leichtentritt, Milli Joe

In a little over a year, Milli has gone from the new kid on the block to the coolest kid on the block, with a steady stream of espresso shots, filled seats, and live local music. Owner husband and wife duo is just as sweet as their homemade gelato, including their brand-new-as-of-this-week Espresso flavor. Come in, grab a treat, and join the Milli neighborhood.

Describe Milli Joe in 5 words or less.

Handmade Coffee, & Espresso

Congrats on turning 1 in July! Talk about how Milli has grown and the Cville spirit of local business collaborations.

We’ve just past the one year make, which is huge in this business. We are very excited to have made an impact on the downtown coffee scene and in the spirit of the collaborative nature of Charlottesville, we have housed La Chocolaterie, Charlottesville’s first shop to carry Neuhaus Chocolates. And soon we will be adding Flora, an awesome cheese shop run by Nadjeeb Chouaf, & that’s just the big stuff! We are constantly tweaking the menu and developing our space in small ways to make a more comfortable meeting space for Charlottesville peeps!

Frozen treats are arguably the tastiest way to beat the summer heat. Talk about Milli’s gelato – popular flavors, how it all started, and what’s next!

Our most popular gelato flavors are by far Hazelnut, Bacon Maple, Chili Chocolate, and Lavender Vanilla (all rotating special flavors except hazelnut, which is so popular we always keep in in the rotation).

milli 2

The process behind the first ever Espresso Gelato at Milli.

It started at Ferrara, an awesome Italian bakery cafe in little Italy NYC blocks from where my grandmother grew up. To this day my favorite place to go for sweets, a place that turned me on to affogato, and a love affair with Italian cafes.

Whats next- you tell me! I do my best to listen to Charlottesville while staying true to my values. Let me know what you’d like to see at Milli Joe and if it fits we’ll work to make it happen.

Favorite summer sweet?

Iced Vanilla latte – Fresh vanilla bean, sugar, 365 whole foods milk, and a double shot of counter culture espresso over ice, delicious.

Favorite summer ingredient?


Easy summer treat to make at home?

My favorite summer dish, cubed cantaloupe, proscuitto, chopped basil, olive oil, fresh ground salt and pepper. A sweet warm weather specialty likely to be on the specialty menu coming soon when we launch Flora the cheese shop inside Milli Joe, run by Nadjeeb Chuoaf, runner up in the NY cheese monger invitational 2013, coming Aug 31st. Getting excited!

If the Charlottesville sweet-tooth scene was high school, what superlative would Milli win?

Most likely to use honors chemistry at breakfast.


Hazelnut affogato – 3.5 oz hazelnut paste, 10 oz milk, 1 oz heavy cream, sugar, 5 oz sugar mix well then put in a gelato/ice cream maker (follow their directions for chilling) Makes about about a pint and a half (our house recipe is only slightly different but this is an easier recipe, something that you can make at home) take 2 scoop of gelato and top it with a shot of sweet sweet espresso, enjoy.

milli 4

Photo Credit: Linnea White

carpedonutMatt Rohdie, Carpe Donut

Since 2007, Carpe Donut has been serving up their signature donuts and spoonfuls of humble appreciation for the outpouring of community support. From mobile truck to storefront AND mobile truck, Carpe has even tapped into the NYC market.

Released in 2012, the “FroDo” ice cream sandwich is more popular than ever at weddings and events, and you can find it on the shelf of Whole Foods and maybe soon through the Local Food Hub. Rohdie is most certainly due for a phone call to Mr. Tolkein’s people to get these “precious” treats trademarked! One donut to rule them all…

Describe Carpe Donut in 5 words or less.

Homemade, organic real donuts and treats

As a mobile vendor, how have you seen Cville welcome Carpe and encourage growth in the mobile food scene?

It’s the community and the people. Going on 7 years now, the community of Charlottesville has made it very clear that they love the model we try to promote. But the city of Charlottesville has been it hard for mobile vendors [with all the regulations and ordinances]. Although they’ve recently taken steps to encourage mobile food vendors, it is still very challenging, and the city hasn’t put much energy into figuring out how they can help mobile food businesses. Many of us [mobile food vendors] have a storefront shop as well, and use our mobile truck as a means of marketing.

carpedonutfrodoFrozen treats are arguably the tastiest way to beat the summer heat. Talk about Carpe’s FroDo – how it all started and what’s next!

It started from that perspective – to meet summer’s needs. We have an amazing, unmatchable cold weather menu, with Italian hot chocolate and our signature cinnamon-sugar dipped apple cider donut. The Fro Do developed from a partnership with another local business. Kirt Gray, previous owner of Maggie Moo’s, worked at Carpe and later opened Kirt’s Homemade Ice Cream. He sent me the first batch of his vanilla ice cream, and it was phenomenal. I knew about frozen donuts from our wholesale business, and [the Fro Do] was a way to pre-make something that used the strength of our already great donuts.

We strive to offer comfort food people grew up with and want,  but with organic thoughtfulness and health values. I want to cook for Charlottesville the way that I would my family.

Carpe’s Fro Do is definitely innovative! Have you heard of the innovation from Dominique Ansel in NYC? The Cronut Craze, and the new Frozen S’more hit? What are your thoughts on pastry innovation, and the current pastry trends?

I get two calls a week asking if we have Cronuts! They’ve certainly taken the world by storm.

Would you start the Cronut trend in Cville? (Pretty, please?!) We know we’d wait in line for it!

It takes somebody who makes a great donut and somebody who makes a great croissant, and I think the best croissant in Cville is at Albemarle Baking Company. I spoke to Gerry [Newman] about potential collaboration, and to let him know that if he says the word, I’m ready! Let’s say it’s an open invitation. Of course, it would be inspired by [Chef Ansel] and we’d give him credit – it would be a homeage to his work.

Favorite summer sweet?

I have an ice cream problem. Every time I walk past Chaps, or pass Kohr Brothers or Chandler’s, I have to get some. I have gallons of Kirt’s Homemade in my freezer.

Favorite summer ingredient?

Lemon and ginger. We have an organic lemonade and ginger hibiscus iced tea that we serve at all the festivals and events like Fridays. It’s a big part of how we maintain our presence in summer.

Easy summer frozen treat to make at home?

Just get some Carpe Donuts at Feast! and make your own FroDo! Or, ginger lemonade. Freshly grated ginger in lemonade is a great summer treat.

If the Charlottesville sweet-tooth scene was high school, what superlative would Carpe win?

Most Likely to Succeed – I hope it’s that one! Or Miss Congeniality – We hope we keep deserving the level of support we are getting. We certainly feel most popular! And that’s a great feeling to have.

pantheon 2James Rucker, Pantheon Pop Shop

Refreshing, real ingredients in every color and flavor under the sun. ‘Nuff said. Pantheon’s popsicles are the ideal nostalgic frozen summer treat. So, adults, go embrace your inner child and grab yourself a pop. Then drill holes in it and fill it with vodka, because you’re an adult, remember?

Describe Pantheon Pop Shop in 5 words or less.

Something real that’s frozen.

As a street vendor, how have you seen Cville welcome Pantheon and encourage growth in the mobile food scene?

The Farmers Market on Saturdays and Wednesdays has been invaluable to us getting this business going. It’s still a big portion of our sales. Also UVA events have been great. Shout out to the Law School!

Frozen treats are arguably the tastiest way to beat the summer heat. Talk about Pantheon pops – popular flavors, how it all started, and what’s next!

I started Pantheon because I was getting a little bored with my previous business. I told a friend about my idea and she said she went to a brand new popsicle shop in Raleigh called Loco Pops. I happened to be near there a week later, visited, and was convinced I could do something like that here. I never knew how they made the popsicles, but I decided I’d only use fruits and not ever use mixes or concentrates. Also, that we’d use coconut milk for creamy popsicles, instead of the dairy mixes that ice cream makers use.

We’ve had a revolving and changing list of flavors over the last few years and here are some customer favorites: Lemon Ginger, Strawberries in Coconut Milk, Banana Chocolate Walnut, Strawberry Hibiscus, Watermelon, and Chocolate Sea Salt. Some local fruits we use are: peach, watermelon, other melons, nectarine, strawberry and fig. This year we added Ginger Kombucha with Coconut Milk and Wednesday Market Special, which is cantaloupe, nectarines, watermelon and corn, all from the Wednesday market!

Now, in my 4th year of making and selling at markets and festival I’m finally putting them in some stores – Rebecca’s Natural Foods, Market Street Market, ACAC Downtown. More are on the way.

Next for Pantheon is more of the same. I really like the outdoor markets and it’s been enjoyable meeting new people, seeing regular customers, and watching them and their kids grow up eating my popsicles. I actually have a few more frozen food ideas, but I’m keeping them to myself right now.

pantheon 1

Favorite summer sweet?

A margarita with salted rim. Especially if someone’s buying it for me at Mono Loco.

Easy summer frozen treat to make at home?

Freeze some strawberries and eat them with maple syrup poured over the top.

Favorite summer ingredient?

Watermelon. Sorry, peach.

If the Charlottesville sweet-tooth scene was high school, what superlative would Pantheon win?

Charlottesville is already a lot like high school! I just wish Pantheon were one of the cool kids. A superlative for us? – Most Newest? But now we’re in our 4th year. How about Most Lemongingeriest?


I will dare to share this recipe. It’s called “Cordless Drill Delight” Ahem… take any of my popsicles, say watermelon (which is just watermelon, sugar and a dash of lemon juice), then drill small but deep holes into the top of it. Next, get a pipette (a very small plastic eyedropper like you used to use in chemistry lab) and use it to add vodka into the holes. Or rum. Whatever. Then eat the popsicle. Repeat. They really like this late night at wedding parties.

splendoras 1PK Ross, Splendora’s

Taste the rainbow, or at least up to 225 rotating flavors at the Downtown Mall’s gelateria. Grab the classic flavors, or try new takes on the classics, like Strawberry Balsamic or White Chocolate with Lemon. A bevy of summer sorbets are also available.

Describe Splendora’s in 5 words or less.

You’ll dream about this gelato.

Talk about how Splendora’s has grown and also remained the same, ever a part of the Downtown Mall and local restaurant scene.

Splendora’s opened on the Downtown in 2004. For the longest while we were the new kid; people constantly asked how long we had been there. Sometimes it feels like everything is still the same. But it’s been kind of like watching your family grow. For the longest time small changes accumulate until you realize everything has shifted. Suddenly the couple you served on one of their dates is married and expecting. The kids who worked here as high schoolers when I started have already graduated college and traveled the world. But Splendora’s is still where they can come back if they want. We still have the flavors they noshed on when they worked here and the same blue striped cups they lived in fear of dropping.

In a broader way, I think the expansion of our coffee business has improved restaurant people recommending us for dessert. Waitstaff in dire need of caffeine have started sending folks our way, for which I am constantly grateful. It really does feel like we’re no longer the new kid anymore.

Frozen treats are arguably the tastiest way to beat the summer heat. Talk about Splendora’s gelato – popular flavors, how it all started, and what’s next!

I’m not entirely sure how the previous owners thought to start a gelato shop Downtown, but they certainly equipped it for success. They made a solid base of flavors that I’ve been building on since I started working for them. We took a book of about 100 flavors and it’s pushing 225 I think.

Our most popular flavor, hands down, is Chocolate Gelato; we’ll go through over 15kgs, or roughly 23qts on a Friday or Saturday night during the summer. As a surprise Salted Caramel seems to be the one most people will demand their friends at least try because it is the flavor that keeps them coming back to Splendora’s. (Which is actually gratifying because it took me forever to figure out how to make the caramel properly for gelato.) A lot of people still go for the classics though like Pistachio and Gianduia (chocolate hazelnut).

splendoras 2

Photo Credit: Linnea White

What’s next for us? I don’t even know! I get inspiration from customers, vendors, or things I drink and eat around town. I love popping into the Spice Diva when I have time and smelling spices while Phyllis tells me stories. And on Saturdays, talking to Michael at Planet Earth Diversified gives me some great ideas about using fresh herbs. Nick over at Commonwealth is just the best person to chat with about unexpected flavors to combine. Plus, I’m lucky enough to have friends who not only suggest things for me to try but are foodies enough to help me crystallize the development of the new flavors. This year we made cantaloupe with sage and sea salt on a whim and I was pleasantly surprised that people liked it. Oh! I didn’t think people would at all like the Smoked Salt Caramel, but people really loved it when I tweaked the Salted Caramel with Yakima Smoked Salt instead. Sometimes just refining is the best part of developing flavors.

splendoras 3Favorite summer sweet?

Cobbler. I cannot for the life of me make a proper cobbler, so when I can have a really killer biscuity one I’m in raptures.

Favorite summer ingredient?

Blueberries or Peaches

Easy summer frozen treat to make at home?

I was told this doesn’t count as dessert but milkshakes! I love strawberry milkshakes with frozen strawberries and a bit of chocolate sauce to distraction.

If the Charlottesville sweet-tooth scene was high school, what superlative would Splendora’s win?

Most Likely to Blow Up a Science Lab. We experiment a lot… and sometimes it goes terribly wrong (I’m looking at you, Elderflower Sorbet!).

nook 1Stuart Rifkin, The Nook

Transport back to 1951, grab a bar stool, and order a class malt milkshake – the kind that comes with half the milkshake as “extra” in the platinum mixer. Or, for the daring, grab a Hardware Store Sunday, and just try to ward of the impending brain freeze. Either way, The Nook’s classics are downtown staples that deserve every last lick and slurp.

Describe The Nook in 5 words or less.

Quality food at reasonable prices

Talk about how The Nook has grown and also remained the same, ever a part of the Downtown Mall and local restaurant scene.

The Nook remains a family restaurant open 21 meals a week and has been serving families continuously since 1951.

nook 2Frozen treats are arguably the tastiest way to beat the summer heat. Talk about The Nook’s milkshakes – popular flavors, how it all started, and what’s next!

People love our Oreo and Chocolate Oreo shakes. Personally I’m partial to a Butterscotch Malted.

Favorite summer sweet?

Favorite Summer Sweet is our homemade Key Lime Pie, Graham Cracker Crust, Butter and Sugar. Plus only Real Key Lime juice, Condensed Milk and Eggs. Topped with whipped cream.

If the Charlottesville sweet-tooth scene was high school, what superlative would The Nook win?

Ms. Congeniality.


Recipe for Chocolate Oreo Shake: Lots if Chocolate Ice Cream, 1/2 Cup of Crumpled Oreo Cookies (not just crumbs but the insides and the out) Milk to cover. Blend well and serve!

nook 3

ice creamTori Tremaglio, Stonefire Station and Kitchen

Recently featured in our Summer Bucket List, the delicious ice cream sandwiches at Stonefire had us giddy with delight. Refreshing and only $2.50, this treat was the perfect pit stop after antiquing in Ruckersville and wine tasting in Barboursville.

Describe Stonefire in 5 words or less.

Wholesome Virginia wine country deli

Frozen treats are arguably the tastiest way to beat the summer heat. Talk about Stonefire’s ice cream sandwiches – how it all started and what’s next!

Our chef, Jeremy Butterfield, created this dessert as a late night surprise that we served at a wedding. They went over so well, we decided to start selling them in the store. Next we’re trying another party favorite, Peach Raspberry Slump.

ice cream sandwichFavorite summer sweet?

Vanilla bean ice cream with fresh peaches and toasted pecans!

Favorite summer ingredient?

Local heirloom tomatoes

Easy summer frozen treat to make at home?

Herb infused popsicles – Strawberry Tarragon, Blueberry Lavender and Peach Mint!

If the Charlottesville sweet-tooth scene was high school, what superlative would Stonefire win?


Peter Roderick and Kelsey Hickman, Nugget’s Raw Kombucha

At just two months old, Nugget’s Raw Kombucha Gelato is perhaps the most refreshing and unique frozen treat in Cville. Available only at the City Market Saturdays on Water Street, this treat is every bit kombucha and every bit gelato, combining to make one must-have frozen nugget of deliciousness.


Describe Nugget’s Raw Kombucha is 5 words or less.

Powerful, living refreshment. REAL.

Frozen treats are arguably the tastiest way to beat the summer heat. Talk about Nugget’s Kombucha Gelato – the secret recipe, where it’s available, how it all started, and what’s next!

We have wanted to make a frozen version of Nugget’s since the beginning, and only just were able to pull it off a couple months ago. It’s literally just made from our Kombucha with added cane sugar (which is the secret to any frozen treat, adding the right ratio of sugar will allow the mixture to freeze in a creamy texture instead of a block of ice). Our Gelato is still very much in the experiment stage with Saturday mornings at the Charlottesville City Market serving as the testing grounds. At this point the market is the only place to get it and we have yet to make the same flavor twice. Next up is going to be a Citra Hops Gelato (hoppy frozen goodness, oh yeah!).

Favorite summer sweet?

Nugget’s Gelato, of course!!

Favorite summer ingredient?

For Kombucha: Fresh Mint
For Cooking: Fresh red bell peppers, yum!

Easy summer frozen treat to make at home?

Kombucha popsicles are VERY EASY to make at home. Just pour your favorite flavor of Nugget’s Raw Kombucha into a popsicle tray (or even just an ice cube tray with toothpicks), let freeze, and enjoy!

If the Charlottesville sweet-tooth scene was high school, what superlative would Nugget’s win?

Most likely to launch your brain into outerspace

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