New this summer season, a 4-year-old Denver ice cream truck has finally opened its brick-and-mortar shop in Park Hill. Em’s Ice Cream is an organic-certified, New England-style maker, now scooping from a sweet storefront at 2829 Fairfax Street. Em’s empire also includes two ice cream trucks, two carts, and a 16th Street Mall kiosk between Curtis and Champa streets.
“We produce quantifiably the best ice cream in Colorado,” owner Andrew Silverman is unafraid to say. Upon moving West permanently, the Maine native who previously worked in web analytics and commercial fishing missed New England ice cream. So in 2014, he started making his own custard-based treat, similar to a crème anglaise. He sold it first from a cart on 16th Street.
Em’s ice cream is made from four base ingredients — milk, cream, eggs, and sugar — and all of its flavors and add-ins are organic and usually made in-house. The honey lavender ice cream gets its flavor from lavender flowers and Brazilian (by way of Fort Collins) Madhava honey. The coffee cashew toffee ice cream is made from single-origin Luna beans and hard-crack candy produced onsite. No other binding agents or syrups are included in the final product. “It’s the time and craft that goes into it,” Silverman explains of the difference from other brands.
While Em’s mobile operations have limited kitchen capacity, the Park Hill shop can serve sundaes, shakes, and malts, as well as custom-packed pints. In addition to newer flavors, customers will find the now-classic salted caramel, cookies and cream, and mint chocolate chip with chips made in-house. Some of the 16 flavors change daily, but Silverman says the traditional options stay put. “You develop an association with (ice cream) as a kid,” he says. “Most people’s favorite flavor when they’re 5 is still their favorite flavor when they’re 50.”
Status: Em’s Ice Cream is open this summer from 3 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1 to 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 to 8 p.m. Sundays at 2829 Fairfax Street. For hours and locations of the mobile stores, check Facebook.