Located in Licking County, in the rural community of Utica, Ohio, sits the historic Ye Olde Mill, home to the family owned and operated Velvet Ice Cream. Founded in 1914, the fourth generation of the Dager family is keeping the ice cream-making tradition alive, by producing some of Ohio’s best ice cream! Welcoming more than 150,000 visitors per year (from April to October) and producing over 5 million gallons of ice cream a year, Velvet Ice Cream has become one of Ohio’s most beloved tourist destinations!
Built in 1817, the historic Ye Olde Mill was one of the largest mills in the new Ohio frontier! Originally powered by the Licking River, the McNaughton Mill (original mill name) had a large water wheel supplying power to turn the millstone which ground grains into flour. In 1965, Velvet Ice Cream began restoration of the mill and the present water wheel (which measures 18 feet in diameter). In 1986, a tragic fire destroyed most of the original mill, except for the block foundation. The Dager family rebuilt the historic landmark and the mill was re-opened to the public in 1987.
With the restoration of the mill, visitors can now take a quick tour through the Museum of Milling to learn about the milling process in the 1800’s.
Producing more than 5 million gallons per year, with distribution throughout the Midwest, Velvet Ice Cream has become known as Ohio’s Ice Cream Capital! With dozens of delicious and innovative flavors, I truly believe there is a Velvet Ice Cream flavor to satisfy every palate! I love ice cream, I mean, who doesn’t love ice cream? If you don’t, then I’m sure you haven’t tasted Velvet! There’s no way after tasting their creamy and dreamy ice cream flavors that you won’t fall in love with their ice cream!
While I have tasted Velvet’s ice cream before, I have never visited Ye Olde Mill in Utica! I was excited to sample some ice cream! With the overwhelming task of choosing which flavors to try, I left the decision up to Nathan, Velvet’s Marketing Manager and my personal tour guide! What came next was an explosion of flavor!! As the tray of six flavors sat before me, my mouth watered, I could barely hear what Nathan was saying because I was too distracted by the delectable ice cream placed in front of me! As I sampled the smorgasbord of ice cream, I thought to myself, “This just might be the best day ever!”
We started with Banana Cream Pie (the 2016 Ohio State Fair flavor), light and creamy with no artificial banana flavoring, reminded me of my grandpa’s banana pudding dessert! Next was Elephant Ear (the 2015 Ohio State Fair flavor), the deliciousness of this flavor is indescribable, creamy vanilla with caramel and cinnamon swirls and sugar coated elephant ear pieces, yum! Kentucky Praline Pecan, creamy vanilla ice cream with whole praline pecans, savory and sweet combined! Raspberry Fudge Cordial, has delicious raspberry ice cream swirled with fudge and raspberry cordial, the perfect fruity and fudge ice cream! Then onto the seasonal flavor, Pumpkin Pie, just like eating the fall traditional pie, the yummy flavor had me feeling all warm and toasty and excited for the upcoming autumn season! And we finished with the best-selling flavor in Ohio, Buckeye Classic, peanut butter ice cream swirled with fudge and miniature buckeyes (chocolate covered peanut butter candies), a delicious Ohio classic! And just when I thought I couldn’t eat much more ice cream (who am I kidding there is always room for ice cream!), I grabbed a scoop of Extreme Moose Tracks to eat on the way home! It was a rough job sampling all of those Velvet Ice Cream flavors, but someone has to do it and I’m glad it was me! 😉
With the upcoming presidential election, Velvet has created a fun ice cream sundae debate for patrons of the Velvet Ice Cream Parlor. From now until October 31, visitors can show their political colors when ordering one of two election-themed sundaes. Whether choosing the Democratic party with the Blueberry Donkey Sundae (blueberry cheesecake ice cream smothered with blueberry topping, whip cream and topped with a white chocolate donkey) or the Republican party with the Elephant Ear Sundae (elephant ear ice cream smothered in caramel topping, whip cream and topped with a white chocolate elephant), either way its a fun way to cast your ballot for the upcoming election!
Along with delightful ice cream at the Velvet Ice Cream Parlor, Velvet offers free 30-minute tours where visitors learn about the history of the company and watch live ice cream production through the viewing gallery. Visitors can also tour the Museum of Milling, dine at the Wheel Room Restaurant, tour Ohio’s only ice cream museum, grab an ice cream themed gift at the gift shop, walk along the property’s nature trails and pond (the property consists of more than twenty acres!), enjoy a picnic at one of the picnic shelters and kids will love to play at the playground and to feed the ducks and geese. Velvet Ice Cream truly is the perfect destination for any ice cream lover!
Velvet Ice Cream welcomes visitors from April through October with free admission and free parking. Make a visit to Velvet Ice Cream to see why Frommer’s has named it as one of “America’s 10 Best Ice Cream Factory Tours.” To plan your visit to Velvet Ice Cream and Ye Olde Mille, please visit www.velveticecream.com.
Have you visited Velvet Ice Cream before? If so, what is your favorite flavor of Velvet Ice Cream? Let me know in the comments below! Love this post? Please share it! 🙂
Thanks for reading!
A special thanks to Velvet Ice Cream for the lovely tour and delicious ice cream! I was an invited guest of Velvet Ice Cream in exchange for sharing my experience. As always on Ohio Girl Travels, all opinions are my own!
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