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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Local Licks: HandCrafted, Consciously Sourced Ice Cream

Cows from Del’s Dairy Farm, in Red Hook, NY

Not many things can compare to a fresh ice cream cone on a hot summer day. And stepping out for locally sourced and served ice cream offers several advantages over conventional ice cream from a market freezer case such as superior taste, quality and healthier ingredients. Plus, supporting a local ice cream shop often means supporting a business that values sustainable agriculture and ethical animal welfare practices. Doesn’t it just taste better knowing that community farms, dairy suppliers and well-loved cows helped to create the fun flavors that came from land within a small radius? 

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of local ice cream shops serving up delectable farm fresh, small batch, cow-to-cone offerings in the Hudson Valley. With unique flavors in addition to vegan and gluten-free options, here is a sampling of several creameries that exemplify these qualities. 

At The Blue Pig, in Croton-on-Hudson, everything is made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients. “This includes all ice cream flavors and toppings, like the salted caramel, along with our baked goods,” affirms owner Lisa Moir, who shares that many of the ingredients come from her own farm. “Right now, we have Balsamic Roasted Strawberry, Garden Mint Chip, and Honey Vanilla with Lavender. The strawberries, mint and lavender were all grown on my farm.”

Moir likes to say, “Your ice cream can only be as good as your milk.” That’s why all of theirs is made from a specialty mix of milk and cream from Hudson Valley Fresh. She shares that thoughtful consideration to environmental concerns go into every decision. “We’re a certified green business that cares greatly for the Earth, animals and our community,” she says. “When it comes down to it, it’s really not about the ice cream cone. It’s because we made all those choices that makes our ice cream taste so delicious.”

The Blue Pig is open daily, except for Mondays, and offers indoor and outdoor family and dog-friendly seating.

Location: 121 Maple St., Croton-on-Hudson, NY. For more information, call 914.271.3850 or visit

Family-owned and operated Carmel Creamery, in Carmel, makes all their handcrafted ice cream exclusively using Hudson Valley Fresh. “We strive to offer high-quality ice cream, with exceptional flavors, free of any harmful additives. Everything we do is with our family in mind, and we extend that to your family as well. Our partnerships with local businesses help us all grow within the community,” affirms co-owners, Megan Petty and her husband Bruce, along with Brian and Jennifer Finney and their children.

The creamery includes as many local products in their ice cream as possible, such as regional roaster Reverie Coffee Company for their coffee ice creams and cold, brew milkshakes. They also serve vegan/gluten-free soft serve, vegan and gluten-free cones, as well as Italian ice. “We’ve just begun production of our in-house vegan ice cream, so be on the lookout for that,” cheers Megan.

Carmel Creamery is open seven days a week and features a welcoming yard with a variety of outdoor seating options, an assortment of yard games and occasional live music events.

Location: 105 Towners Rd., Carmel, NY. For more information, call 845.225.0890 or visit

At Del’s Roadside, in Rhinebeck, their small batch dairy farm and ice cream company operates on three core pillars: locally sourced, farm-fresh and community focused. “We believe that happy, healthy cows equal fresh milk, which equals amazing ice cream,” says Cody Williams, owner, dairy farmer and fellow ice cream lover. “We are essentially a farm-to-scoop ice cream company. Our scoops begin with fresh milk straight from the farm to our small batch creamery which sits on 300 acres, in Red Hook, where all the magic happens. We like to bring old-fashioned farming values and beliefs, along with modern technology to create our ice cream.”

Del’s Roadside is open daily year-round, with ample indoor and outdoor seating, offering hard packed and soft serve ice cream in a variety of flavors, signature “flavor of the month” milk shakes, sundaes and boozy shakes. Gluten-free, vegan and nut-free options are also available.

Location: 6780 Albany Post Rd., Rhinebeck, NY. To place orders, call 845.516.4800. For general inquiries, call 845.516.4837 or visit

For more than 18 years, Zora Dora’s, in Beacon, has been serving up small batch ice cream and sorbets in American Popsicle fashion. “Every day is a frozen adventure in experiment and taste,” affirms owner Steven Astorino.  “Seasonal berries, fruits and vegetables find their way into our handmade specialties. From spring to autumn, flavors change with the local and exotic growing season. We don’t have written recipes and often create one-of-a-kind treats that might not ever be made again. The lucky customers with curiosity will often try one of those.”

The team at Zora Dora’s selects most of their ingredients from local farmers markets and small farms around the Hudson Valley. “We also grow some ingredients in our own garden and raise our own beehives for honey,” says Astorino.

Zora Dora’s features an ever-rotating menu of unique flavors such as Cookies n’ Cream, Exotic Roasted Banana, Saffron Pistachio, and Caramel Apple Sea Salt. Alternative ice cream options include vegan, non-dairy and gluten-free ice cream sandwiches.

Location: 201 Main St., Beacon, NY. For more information, call 646.206.3982 or visit

Check out Publisher Dana Boulanger's picks from these local ice creameries by clicking the link below.

Publisher Picks Local HandCrafted Consciously Sourced Ice Cream

Publisher Picks: Local HandCrafted, Consciously Sourced Ice Cream

As a Natural Awakenings publisher, you can imagine I’m extra discerning where my ice cream comes from, too. Here are my tasting trip notes from a fun tour of these local ice creameries. Read More »