Valpo Velvet has been soft-serving gourmet ice cream to locals at the corner of Monroe and Lafayette in downtown Valparaiso for 70 years now. To show appreciation for customers and celebrate the end of 2017 for their ongoing support throughout the years, Valpo Velvet threw their annual year end ice cream party this Thursday with our very own ValpoLife.
Invited in by menu specials and complimentary ice cream with a lunch, customers poured in and kept a steady line before the shoppe’s scheduled ice cream factory tour during the party.
Cathy Brown, wife of third generation Valpo Velvet owner Mike, is still surprised at the turnout they have and says it’s her favorite part of each party.
“Every year, my favorite memory is the fact that we casually invite people to come have ice cream and go on a tour around 1 pm and every year, I’m always surprised at how many people actually show up to go on this little tour of our ice cream plant,” said Brown. “It really interests people. I can pay it forward and show kids how things are made and how things are done. I think it’s important to teach kids how things are made in their community, so that’s why we invite them for the tour.”
Indulging in tasty-flavored ice cream and learning about how it’s made isn’t the only reason for customers to keep coming back. Valpo Velvet’s familiarity of the community and surrounding areas make customers feel like more than just that – they feel like friends and family.
Valparaiso University Librarian and Valpo resident since 1998, Trish Mileham, has been coming to the shoppe’s end of the year party with her granddaughter and partner for the last five years.
“You come here and they just know you – they really keep track of what’s going on in our lives,” remarked Mileham. In addition to how the Valpo Velvet family treats her as a customer, Mileham is very pleased with how they handle all the not-so-decisive children that come in.
She said, “They’re just always so patient with the little kids. Sometimes you have that kid that gets overwhelmed with choices and when it takes five minutes for my granddaughter to pick out the ice cream she wants, it’s never been a problem. That’s probably the most memorable thing I notice when I come in here.”
Mileham visits Valpo Velvet frequently along with many other regulars because of the friendly demeanor held by all and she loves seeing everyone during the annual party.
“The owners and staff are just nice people and it’s nice to see the community supportive like this all at once. Most of the time we’re all in here one way or another, but right now it’s like EVERYBODY’s here,” Mileham commented.
Cassy Huber, from Sales and Marketing at NITCO, was so impressed by the tour of Valpo Velvet last year that they thought it would be fun to return again this year.
In agreement with Mileham, Huber said, “It’s just nice to get out of the office and It’s great to get out there in the community to see everyone – you get to meet new people and see people you know, plus the tour is really interesting.”
For those that don’t know how ice cream is made, the tour explains each step in the process from mixing, heating, and pasteurizing their main ingredients to pumping the product into a homogenizer and storage vat. To come out for a tour yourself to learn the ins and outs or to learn more about Valpo Velvet Ice Cream, visit http://www.valpovelvet.com/.