Approaching from the highway, you would hardly know it was there except for the signs. It seems the most unlikely place to sell ice cream, but upon entering the parking lot, you know. You see the Ye Olde Mill, a building that immediately makes you think of a Swiss or Dutch-style cottage, the kind like you would expect to see in a painting of a European country side. Right away you notice a friendly atmosphere extending out into the crowded parking lot. People seem to be moving slowly as you watch them stroll about with ice cream goodies in hand. Laid back, happy faces, comfort food – we knew we had arrived!
We had gone to Utica, Ohio that day to find it, because we knew the Velvet Ice Cream Company had a museum there and you could buy servings of hand dipped or soft serve. Our mouths were watering for fudge-dripping sundaes, so our heads were wrapped around sweet treats, not the museum. We’d heard about this place, but was it really going to be all it was hyped up as being? Boy, were we in for a pleasant surprise!
First, I’d like to say that the ice cream is delicious! I found the servers to be friendly, patient and very accommodating. When you enter, there is a splattering of little tables and a glass ice cream bar, where you can see all the flavors before you order. A menu is mounted on the wall behind the counter, and it stretches across big enough to make it easy to read while waiting in line. We ordered two chocolate sundaes with whipped topping, topped with a cherry and a banana split. It seemed a little pricey at first, but at first bite, you forget about your wallet – yeah, it was well worth it! They have a nice lunch menu too, we went for ice cream, so I can’t vouch for the food, but it looked to me as if everyone eating was certainly enjoying their food. By the way, I did not take any pictures inside the café,
because I was too busy feeding my face to take pictures due to the respect of privacy for the dinners. You can check out the restaurant and ice cream menus over on the Velvet Ice Cream website.
Outside, if you go through the souvenir store, you will find a courtyard where you can eat outside at tables shaded by umbrellas. You can browse through some displays set up and read about some of the old flour grinders and equipment from yesteryear. Public restrooms are right around the corner.
At the end of the mill’s gravel parking lot, there is a beautiful treed lawn with a few outside picnic tables scattered about. They have a pond close by and you can watch ducks be ducks. If you choose to be in this area, you might feel as if you are in someone’s “backyard,” because you sense being a bit removed from the comings and goings of other visitors. It’s nice.
For your young ones (or maybe you) there is a playground with fun stuff to climb on and swings to swing in.
They have a little fenced in barn area for small farm animals. You can pet them if they have any animals in the pen. We didn’t see any when we were there, but here are pictures of the area.
In a building across from the mill, is a Visitor Center. A continuous video plays on a monitor, which documents some nice information about the history of Velvet Ice Cream, Ye Olde Mill and the family that started the business.
While you are there, be sure and walk the nature trail. It’s a nice wooded trail and you can follow it all the way to a small creek. We stayed and played a while, skipped stones, got our shoes muddy, that sort of thing
This is a fun trip to do in a day, if you live in Ohio. But if you are ever passing through, you might want to direct your route so you can have a visit and some ice cream.
Thanks for looking and if you get a chance, send me some comments. Tell me about some fun places to visit in your part of the world. I’d love to hear!
As always, my opinions are my own, please see disclaimer here.
And, for your enjoyment . . .