We all scream for Ice Cream Alley

  • Foodie Tinky Weisplat sampling frozen confections at Ice Cream Alley in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Ice Cream Alley in Greenfield is a tiny wedge of a store selling gourmet ice cream. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • At Ice Cream Alley, a flight of gourmet flavors and a Rise Above Sundae with a chocolate rye cookie from Rise Above bakery in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Bryan Dolan of Ice Cream Alley, a tiny wedge of a store selling delicious ice cream in Greenfield, scoops out a flight of flavors. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Bryan Dolan of Ice Cream Alley, a tiny wedge of a store selling delicious ice cream in Greenfield, with a Rise Above Sundae featuring a chocolate rye cookie from Rise Above bakery in Greenfield. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

For the Recorder
Published: 8/13/2019 2:23:07 PM

The first thing a visitor notices about Ice Cream Alley on Main Street in Greenfield is that it is indeed an alley. The tiny storefront consists of a narrow passageway that moves back from the street in an irregular fashion.

Happily, co-owner Bryan Dolan (who does woodwork and custom cabinetry at Dolan Casework in Turners Falls) has maximized the small space with clever design and woodwork.

The second, third and fourth things one notices about this establishment are that it serves ice cream that is simply heavenly.

All of the ice cream is locally sourced, and all of it is high in flavor and quality.

“We’re all big ice cream fans so we wanted to get things we like,” Dolan explained when photographer Paul Franz and I stopped by recently to taste the merchandise. “These (varieties of ice cream) are all very solid. They’re ultra-premium. There’s no air in there.”

He noted that a 2-ounce scoop of ice cream at his store weighs as much as a scoop from other stores that is twice as big.

Dolan co-owns the business with his brother, Tim Dolan, and a third partner who wishes to remain anonymous. Dolan referred to him as “Dan the mystery man.”

Bryan Dolan does “the physical stuff.” His brother, Tim Dolan, is the business’ main administrator and handles the paperwork. “Dan the mystery man” is an attorney, so he handles legal and financial responsibilities.

They started the seasonal business in the summer of 2018.

“My brother is a town councilman,” said Bryan Dolan. “We’re all big Greenfield boosters. We’re homeowners. We thought Greenfield needed something like this. We want people out on Main Street. We want to see families here.”

They think of the small eatery as a gathering place, he told us. Although the storefront is tiny, the owners have set up chairs and tables outside to create a sidewalk-café atmosphere.

They have been rewarded for their creativity and their enthusiasm for Greenfield with strong business. “It’s doing better than we ever suspected,” said Dolan. “The support we’ve received from the people of Greenfield has been just tremendous.”

They continue to court that support by trying to provide a wide variety of flavors and to cater to people who have different tastes and needs.

“We get all kinds of people,” Dolan stated. “We try to have something for everybody. There is always a vegan option, and we’re more careful than your average place about allergies.”

The ice-cream flavors available change daily.

On the day we visited, Dolan prepared a sample tray for us, an “Ice Cream Flight” that included Cardamom Ice Cream (the cardamom was subtle but delightful), Blueberry Goat-Cheese Ice Cream, Black-Sesame Brownie Ice Cream, Vegan Coconut Avocado “Ice Cream,” and Coconut Avocado Ice Cream.

I’m not the world’s most adventurous eater so I was a little skeptical about some of these flavors. To a scoop, they tasted wonderful.

Dolan also made us a Rise Above Sundae featuring a cookie from the new Rise Above Bakery and Café down the street. He even catered to Franz’s dog, Dixie, waiting patiently outside, with a treat called the Puppy Scoop. This combined dog biscuits with Bart’s vanilla ice cream.

Dixie was enchanted. I have resolved not to tell my own dog, Cocoa Chanel, about Ice Cream Alley. She would probably demand a carob-flavored special treat named after her.

In addition to Bart’s, the local providers featured the day that Franz, Dixie and I visited were Flayvors of Cook Farm and Herrell’s. The vegan ice cream originated a little farther away, at FoMu in Somerville. Dolan indicated that he thought the product was worth the trip to Somerville. Paul and I had to concur.

Ice Cream Alley will be open daily through Oct. 13. On Oct. 14 and 15, the store will offer free ice cream as long as the supply lasts. Dolan called this “a sort of thank you to the community.”

On upcoming hot days, Ice Cream Alley will offer another gift by installing a mister in the shady tree in front of the storefront to create a cooling zone. Dolan called this his “secret plan … (the store’s) latest thing to try to make Main Street a little more friendly.”

He and his partners have other, long-term plans as well. “It kind of makes sense to have multiple locations” in the future, he indicated. For the moment, they are content to make their neighbors happy, one scoop at a time.

Ice Cream Alley’sRise Above Sundae

2 scoops of Bart’s vanilla ice cream

1 double-chocolate rye cookie from Rise Above

Swirls of Herrell’s hot-fudge sauce

Whipped cream to taste

Place the ice cream in a bowl. Position the cookie to one side of the bowl. Swirl the sauce over the ice cream, and add just a little whipped cream. Eat and be transported to heaven. Serves one person.

Tinky Weisblat is the award-winning author of “The Pudding Hollow Cookbook,” “Pulling Taffy,” and “Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb.” Visit her website, www.TinkyCooks.com.


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