Meet a maker!
What do you make?
I make handcrafted, traditional custard style-ice cream. It is made with all natural ingredients – I don’t shortcut by using starches or stabilizers – and so my ice cream is very dense and creamy. I have been making a variety of flavours, a fun part of making ice cream. The main product I am creating right now is ice cream sandwiches: ginger ice cream with rhubarb & strawberry ice cream on a pink peppercorn cookie, Earl Grey ice cream with vanilla sea salt ice cream on a chocolate, salted cookie and the “classic” vanilla bean ice cream on a chocolate chip cookie.
How long have you been doing this?
I have always had an interest in cooking and baking, but it wasn’t until about two years ago that I really began to dive into the art of making ice cream. And I have only recently been proffering my craft to the public for sale, since early July of this year.
How did you learn this skill?
For me, learning to make ice cream and ice cream sandwiches has been a process of learning by doing, and figuring it out along the way. It took me nearly two years to develop the recipe that I now use. A lot of trial and error, and help from taste testers. Also, no doubt, working in a bakery/kitchen (Bullethole Bagels) for a few years has provided me with a good foundation for what I am doing now with ice cream. There I gained experience, but also gleaned a few insights working alongside some true talent in the kitchen .
What drew you to this artform/skill/craft?
I am a big fan of ice cream. I have many fond memories of getting ice cream: it can be a destination with a friend, or something to be enjoyed in solitude at home. Whatever the context, it always feels like a special treat. After I experimented with making it, I was hooked. One very appealing thing about making ice cream is the versatility of it, and the limitless possibilities of flavours. I really get excited about trying out new flavours; I have a lot of fun in the kitchen.
Where can people find your products?
Right now, people can find my ice cream at the Fireweed Market, at Shipyards Park, Thursdays 3-7. I am working on finding other outlets for my ice cream products. Stay tuned.
How did you name your business ?
The name Half Moon Ice Cream came after a lot of thought, and was chosen in the end because of the way it feels. The moon has a soft and comforting presence, not unlike ice cream. The half moon shape specifically I think is very beautiful, when the moon is illuminated to reveal a perfect fraction of itself. And actually, the ice cream sandwiches I make are half moon shaped as well – I find that the precision of a straight line across a circle is an attractive shape – and the cut edge of the sandwich really shows off the ice cream layers! Some might think it looks like half of an ice cream sandwich, but fear not, it is designed to be a whole. If these were “full moon” ice cream sandwiches, they would be small cakes. I put a lot of ice cream inside!
Do you incorporate any Yukon-specific ingredients or materials into your product? How is your product linked to the territory?
I am looking forward to incorporating more local ingredients into my ice cream flavours! I also hope to do some collaborations with some of our other amazing Yukon creators.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in getting started?
Finding kitchen rental space, where I also could store a freezer, in the beginning was a challenge. I feel lucky that I have found space that will accommodate me!
What, for you, is the most challenging thing about being a maker in the Yukon, and what is the most rewarding?
Time is a limited resource, and time management has been a challenge for me. With producing small-batch, handcrafted ice cream in addition to holding a job, there is little time left. The time that is left, I usually end up working on ice cream development anyway – I am one to obsess over details, and I just can’t put it down! This is challenging, being inside the kitchen a lot of the time and knowing all the Yukon has to offer for recreation in the outdoors – I know I am missing out! But it is worth it.
For me the most rewarding thing about making my from scratch ice cream in the Yukon is the smiles on peoples faces, and hearing how much they enjoyed my product. It sounds cheesy to say, but it is true – bringing people a little bit of joy is the biggest payoff. The Fireweed Market has been a great experience – so many supportive people in the community.
Do you have a favourite memory or story about your craft you would like to share?
Most of my favourite moments have been at the Fireweed Market, and hearing stories from the people who come by my ice cream cart to try my treats. I have heard a lot of fun memories from people about other ice cream, and ice cream experiences that they have had, and it is sweet to hear from other people who are excited about the craft of ice cream.
Is there anything you would like to tell readers that I haven’t asked, or you haven’t had a chance to share?
Right now most of my products contain dairy and egg, and the sandwiches contain gluten in the cookies, but I am working on other recipes to be more inclusive. Hopefully bringing some vegan and gluten-free products into the mix soon, alongside my traditional ice cream!