Welcome to the Ice Cream Chronicles, a recurring summertime series where we profile local shops that feed your cravings for ice cream and other cold confections. This week, we profile Loveland Dairy Whip.
LOVELAND -- Year in and year out, there are unmistakable signals that spring is in the air: Daffodils and tulips poke their heads from the earth. Songbirds fill the air with music.
And in the heart of old Loveland, dozens of ball players – tiny tots and high schoolers, soccer teammates and baseball champions and lacrosse competitors – fidget and laugh and wait their turn for an ice cream at Loveland Dairy Whip.
Wearing uniforms of every color and sport, but mostly the orange and black of the Loveland Tigers, of course, they plot their orders: Will it be an M&Ms parfait or a twisted cone? Should they order their creamy whip in a mini baseball helmet or get it classic style on a sugar cone with candy googly eyes?
Are they old enough to conquer the Chocolate Mountain?
“When you drive down that hill of West Loveland Avenue, you see all those kids queued up at the area, all those teams standing in line,” said Mark Fitzgerald, mayor of Loveland and a resident since 1983.
Like thousands of families have done since the Dairy Whip opened on July 8, 1955, the Fitzgerald family has logged plenty of time enjoying sundaes, cones and parfaits at the popular eatery, which he called a Loveland institution.
Teresa Morgan, who has owned the Dairy Whip since 2001 with her husband, Rick, sees plenty of customers who have been visiting for decades, and she’ll sometimes wait on people – ordering treats with their grandkids – whom she first served when she, and the customers, were teens in the 1970s. Back then she and her sister Jen worked and played at the Dairy Whip, which her parents, Marian and Jim Flint, owned from 1972 to 1986.
“That’s what’s so fun about this and makes it so worth it – seeing people throughout the years,” she said.
History might bring a customer back once, for nostalgia’s sake, but it won’t keep them lining up nightly from early March through late September. For that, it takes tasty treats, and Loveland Dairy Whip earns high praise for them. Fans rave about how smooth and creamy this version of creamy whip is, which Morgan credits to a high-quality soft-serve mix from Dairymens dairy in Cleveland. Its 10 percent butter fat is higher than most soft-serve ice creams, she said, which accounts for the creamier consistency.
Mary Schnelle is among those who have long been won over by that quality.
“It’s so creamy and smooth, just the best,” she said. “I would rather have theirs once a month than have somebody else’s ice cream 10 times.”
Schnelle has been a fan for more than a decade and used to take her kids – both now grown – to Loveland Dairy Whip after school or ballgames when they lived right up the road in Maineville. These days she is further away, in Batavia, but drives past countless other ice cream places on the way to her Loveland favorite.
The Morgans’ emphasis on quality extends to their toppings, syrups and sundae ingredients. DessertWorks Bakery, a custom wedding and special occasion cake shop in Sharonville, bakes the brownies and chocolate cakes used in sundaes, and this year the Dairy Whip also started using vanilla cake (“a slice of heaven,” Morgan said) from the bakery for strawberry shortcakes.
That commitment to the details extends to the grounds and building. The Morgans invested in a major renovation in 2015, reconfiguring the interior, extending the space for the drive-through, upgrading the parking lot and landscaping, adding picnic tables and parking spaces and putting in a new road sign – the Dairy Whip’s first since 1976. Loveland City Council named the Dairy Whip business of the year for 2015 in recognition of the improvements and importance to the city.
Just rolled out this season is a new venture, which Rick Morgan said is already creating buzz and bookings with no advertising. Loveland Dairy Whip's mobile ice cream truck has already served at more than a dozen special events, such as festivals and graduation parties, and has secured bookings into the fall, including a wedding reception.
Though they’ve been swirling cones for much of their lives – they started dating as teens – both Teresa and Rick Morgan said they never get tired of ice cream – eating it or serving it.
“Even on a bad day, I have a good day here,” said Teresa Morgan.
Talk about a sweet life.
Loveland Dairy Whip
611 W. Loveland Ave., Loveland
To book the mobile Mini LDW, call or email email@example.com.