St. Croix Scoops

Stillwater Gazette editor Alicia Lebens and reporter Kim Schneider are visiting local spots for cold treats for the Gazette’s summer ice cream podcast, “St. Croix Scoops.”

They’re not experts on ice cream — but they do enjoy it, so they sampled a variety of scoops from the Stillwater area (tough job, we know). While the St. Croix Valley has many options, this podcast will feature just a few of the many great places to grab a scoop of ice cream.

Each episode also features an interview with an owner of the shop we visit.

This week’s episode of “St. Croix Scoops” features Mabel’s Ice Cream Parlor of Bayport, a classic ice cream shop with the feeling of hanging out a your cool grandma’s house.

Mabel’s Ice Cream Parlor

For this week’s episode, Alicia interviewed Gregg Ellingson, who owns Mabel’s with wife, Robin.

Q: Tell me about the history of the shop and where the name ‘Mabel’ came from?

A: We opened up a year ago in June, so we are just over a year old. Mabel was my wife’s grandmother. She was an incredible woman, lived to be 101 years old and and was an inspiration for anyone who knew her. She was really ahead of her time for her age, very much a Renaissance woman. So after she passed, we were looking for a way to keep her legacy alive and that is where the name comes from.

Q: How did your first summer go last year, and why did you pick this place?

A: The town was really excited to have us. There is nothing like this in town, we have a number of really good restaurants, we saw a need for something that was family orientated, summertime and outdoor orientated.

We picked this place because it had easy parking, it had a great lawn because we wanted to be outside in the summertime, and it was a history building from the 1890s. We saw the charm that it brings. We looked at about four or five different options and this was the best for us.

Q: Where do you get your ice cream?

A: Our supplier is Cedar Crest, the are out of Cedarburg, Wis. and are a premium ice cream provider. People love Cedar Crest. We have 60 flavors that we rotate through and at any time we have 25-30 flavors that are available at any time.

We did a lot of taste testing. We were on a trip to Lambeau Field to see a Packer game and we stopped in central Wisconsin at an ice cream shop and they had Cedar Crest and everyone was pretty impressed. We researched a lot of other supplies and they were small enough to be responsive to our needs but large enough to provide us with a lot of flavors.

Q: How much ice cream would you say you go through in a week?

A: Oh boy, summertime right now ... we buy in three-gallon tubs and are going through a hundred tubs a week. It is very weather dependent.

This week’s picks

Listen to the podcast to hear Kim and Alicia discuss their impressions after taking a flight of four different flavors of ice cream. Here are this week’s selections:

Blueberry Waffle cone

Blueberries and waffle cone peices in vanilla ice cream


Coffee flavored ice cream

Birthday Cake

Birthday cake peices, rainbow sprinkles in a Yellow Cake flavored ice cream

Raspberry Sorbet

Non-dairy raspberry sorbet

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