The Rhubarb Stalk Exchange is now open!

Rhubarb. It not only defies this modern age of artificial intelligence; in fact it defines this age of artificial intelligence. Please meet Rhub the Rube. Rhub the Rube is the President of the Rhubarb Stalk Exchange. Very informative, slightly annoying, and obsessed with rhubarb. Ask Rhub the Rube any question, and learn how rhubarb is the answer. Want a chance to win a Merry Dairy gift certificate? Copy and paste your question and Rhub the Rube’s answer in the comments below! With Rhub the Rube’s help, we’ll select three of the best, quirkiest, fun, interesting etc. questions and answers from the posted comments. So as Rhub the Rube says, AMA!




The Rhubarb Stalk Exchange: Check your patches – get your crop judged – then get your $ RHUBCOIN $

It’s that time of year when patches of rhubarb poke through the fresh springtime earth and repopulate backyards all across our city. 

And it grows, and grows and grows.

You can turn your rhubarb into a redeemable $ RHUBCOIN $ code redeemable at for rhubarb flavoured ice cream pints or any pints of your choosing.

How much $ RHUBCOIN $ ? That’s up to you and your rhubarb patch! First, find that moment in time when your rhubarb is at its most perfect, then pluck it trim it, wash it and bring it to 102 Fairmont! Check store hours here!


How does the judging work?

$ RHUBCOIN $ will be calculated as follows:




Receive one point for every 2 stalks of rhubarb collected
Quality, cleanliness, and trim to be awarded on a scale of 1 to 10

The point score for rhubarb is subject to change without notice!


Example A:

20 stalks of wonderfully ripe rhubard, beautifully cleaned and expertly trimmed =
10 x 10 x 10 x 10  = 10000/1000 = $10.00 of $ RHUBCOIN $


Example B:

20 stalks of overripe, unwashed, leafy rhubarb that we probably won’t use =
10 x 3 x 3 x 2 = 180/1000 or 18 cents of $ RHUBCOIN $


Example C:

15 stalks of underripe, washed, and trimmed rhubarb that we probably won’t use =
1.5 x 3 x 9 x 9 = 5832 = 36 cents of $ RHUBCOIN $


Can I appeal my judgment? Yes! A Merry Dairy team member will accept the appeal and consult with a fellow team member to validate or change the ruling based on the appeal.


Can I appeal the appeal? Um, at some point we have to admit that even the rhubarb process has a limit.


Note: The RSE (Rhubarb Stalk Exchange) can stop trading without warning in order to preserve the value of $ RHUBCOIN $.



Rhubarb drop-off is between noon-8 pm Tuesday to Sunday. Please include your name and email on tape, paper, or even directly on the bag. Your rhubarb will be judged by our team of very judgy people, and your $ RHUBCOIN $ code will follow by email.🌱 💰

Looking for tips and growing and harvesting your rhubarb? Click here!


Read (and listen to) the 2021 Poems of Rhubarb!


Hear the interview on CBC Ottawa morning and on As It Happens (begins at 1:05:20!









Moms & AI & Ice Cream

Remember when you told your mom about a new friend? Your mom might have said, Have fun but play safe!

And so, meet Murray, The Merry Dairy Flavour Chatbot!

Murray is The Merry Dairy’s new friend, and Murray wants to help us celebrate Mothers Day!

And remember when on Mothers Day morning, you might have concocted some treat, made up of whatever you could find, that you would serve your Mom, for breakfast or at some other part of the day?

Or with Mothers Day around the corner, it’s a chance to remember Mom and cherish a memory and keep it close to you.

And so with that in mind, we’re asking Murray The Merry Dairy flavour maker for some help!

Using the chatbot below, ask Murray to concoct a flavour of ice cream based on the most unusual things (or usual) things you might find in your kitchen. Ask Murray to take these ingredients, add one of their choice, and then ask them to make you a dairy or plant-based flavour!

Or maybe you want to recreate a moment that you had with your mom and make that into a flavour. Share your moment and see how Murray can make that a flavour.

In either case, copy and paste your question and Murray’s answer into the comments below (See example questions at the end of this post). With Murray’s help, on Saturday (Mothers Day eve) we’ll select some of these flavours, and The Merry Dairy will attempt to make them in The Merry Dairy, er, test kitchen over the summer! And for us to make it, the flavour has to be peanut, nut and sesame free, but otherwise, we’re wide open! Also, the chatbot likes to think for a bit, so your answer might take 30 seconds or more! 

But chats are great, but cakes are even better, and so if you’re still in the mood for concocting, you can try the new Merry Dairy build your own cake feature, where you can choose what flavours, fillings and toppings you’d like on your cake! Then send a special message and include a label of a favourite picture that we can add to the cake box!

Or maybe Mom likes to make ice cream, and rather than risk it with Murray’s instant, untested, recipes, you’d like to give Mom some tested, delicious and easy-to-make recipes. And in that case, you can get Mom this thing called a book, with beautiful photos, delicious recipes and clear instructions! Get your copy at or at your local bookstore!

Sample question – crazy combinations!

I want to help the merry dairy invent a new ice cream flavour! The flavour must be peanut, tree nut and sesame free, but otherwise any ingredient works! I’d like to start with ingredients like tumeric and coarse pepper and I’d like chatgpt to add a third flavour profile to complement the tumeric and coarse pepper. Please provide a recipe to make the flavour. Please also suggest up to three names the flavour could be called.

Sample question – A moment with Mom

Can you suggest a recipe for an ice cream flavour called Saturday Picnic that The Merry Dairy could make? This flavour should remind me of the times we make sandwiches and ice tea and head out with Mom to the local park on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The recipe must be peanut, tree nut and sesame free. Please explain why you think your recipe captures the essence of this flavour name


Now that you have Murray’s answer, don’t forget to copy the question and answer in the comments below!!

And finally, Murray the flavour maker would like to acknowledge Amelia.Coffee.Bake, PLA, and Hamza who individually chatted up The Merry Dairy about such an idea. Thanks to all of you!

The Snow Pile and the Great Spring March

This is was the snow pile at 102 Fairmont. Its slow melt was tracked by PileVision (see video below) until the pile was suddenly removed due to an unscheduled contractor’s adjustment.

Photos will be were posted (almost) daily to track our progress to spring. Guess the date and exact time that it will be fully melted away. The guess closest to the actual melted date and time without going over win a Mother’s Day cake! Two other Merry Dairy prizes will be awarded by selecting randomly from all entries received! Enter using the comments below. Entries due by midnight, Wednesday, March 22.

Congratulations to …

Grand Prize Winner – Mothers Day Cake 

Winner of “extra” Mothers Day Cake

 2nd prize – 3 pints

3rd prize – 2 pints
But wait, there’s more!
Over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Easter Weekend, there will be three more draws for a pint of ice cream! All who have already commented below are eligible. Didn’t enter back then? Well, it’s a contest extension!
In recognition of National Poetry Month, simply write your a poem about the snow pile, or snow, or just list your favourite poem in the comments below. Here’s our poem to get things started!
Love’s Loathsome Lament (For A Snow Pile)
Greeted so warmly when its first fresh flakes touch the ground
The snow is loved throughout December’s festive moments
And yet, as it piles, the love plies not.
Though it dwindles, melts and refreezes
A stubborn loathing sublimates as its hosts wait for the joy of its departing
And yet, the pile knows it will return, solstice in mind, summering as it does, elsewhere


Prizes will have been awarded as follows:

Grand Prize: Mothers Day Ice Cream Cake – awarded to the guess that is closest in date and time to the time the pile is officially declared gone by the panel of independent(ly minded) Merry Dairy judges!

Second Prize, to be drawn at random from all entries that guess the correct day the pile is declared gone.

Third Prize to be drawn at random from all entries, regardless of date or time.

See the entries below in the comments, and in social media responses below.






One week ago today …

If you can help, we’d love to say thank you

One week ago, on the coldest night of the year, a pipe burst in the Salus apartments on Scott Street. Damage was extensive and 40 people had to leave their homes and be sheltered elsewhere in our city.
The disruption to their lives is incomprehensible as they adjust to this shock and to life in temporary accommodations.
The Salus team has been extraordinary, responding immediately and making sure everyone had somewhere to stay.
But more is needed. The residents have lost so much. And there is so much damage to the Salus building.
In response, Salus has launched a fundraising campaign. The community’s response has been immediate and incredibly caring on so many levels.
We have worked with Salus many times in the past and in this time of need for them and their clients, we want to help do whatever we can to help.
And so, in addition to our own donation, we’d like to offer a small thank you gift to all who have donated to this campaign, or who will be donating. 
We want to do this kind of like a community radio fundraiser. Gave $20? Get an ice cream sandwich. Less than $20? A free topping on your next cone. $100? A free pint. $1000 an ice cream cake of your choice. And if you give $5000 or more, we’ll bring The Merry Truck to your home to serve ice cream to you and 49 of your friends.
In short, we hope you just give. But if a little ice cream nudges you in that direction, then so much the better!
To redeem, simply email with the evidence of your donation, like a receipt or photo. We’ll email you a gift code you can use anytime online or at our shop.
All of us at 102 Fairmont

A Proposal

Read the letters to the Canadian Dairy Commission, The Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Dairy Processors Association of Canada.

Local Wholesale

A proposal regarding shopkeeper-distributors under the Milk Act


For almost 60 years the Milk Act has existed to “stimulate, increase and improve the producing of milk within Ontario.” This proposal concerns the shopkeeper-distributor designation in the Milk Act as it relates to the production and distribution of ice cream.


40 years ago, it was almost impossible to find craft beer on Ontario beer store shelves, due in part to regulations that simply did not fit, and did not nurture a local craft beer industry. Today, craft beer defines Ontario and any visit by anyone to any town in Ontario is an opportunity to try the local brew. Local tourism agencies promote their breweries, and these breweries are part of the fabric of their community.


This proposal seeks to offer solutions to allow shopkeeper-distributors (S-Ds) to sell their ice cream in local stores in a way that addresses safety and allows S-Ds to create a local, artisan ice cream industry that doesn’t require overwhelming financial investments that in effect remove the incentive to be on local shelves, thereby diminishing choice for local consumers.


Proposal 1 – Geography


If an S-D can sell in their store, what would it require for them to have their product sold down the street or around the block? S-Ds are not looking to produce in a city like Ottawa to distribute in a city like Thunder Bay; they are not looking to fill the shelves of Costcos throughout the province. They want to sell where they produce. From the perspective of the consumer, this means that they know where their ice cream was made, and who made it. A S-D is accessible to the customer in a local market.


Proposed: S-Ds be restricted to a pre-defined local area for distribution that is reasonable in terms of a consumer’s ability to visit the S-D should they wish to.


Proposal 2 – Labelling


S-Ds are not required by CFIA to provide ingredient or nutrition labels on their products for items they sell at the site of production. Beginning in the new year, CFIA will require all wholesale food products to display nutrition labelling and ingredient statements that include the address and contact info for the producer of the product. 


Proposed: That CFIA labelling be recognized under the Milk Act as an adequate measure for consumers to know sufficient information about the product they are consuming and how to contact the producer with any complaint or concern. 


Proposal 3 – Transportation


Wholesaling of ice cream often outside of a local area can involve several shippers, across Ontario or across Canada. As a result, wholesalers can see their product transfer hands several times, actions that require tracking and enhanced measures at source to ensure safety. 


Proposed: Shipments of ice cream by S-Ds to local retailers would be required to take place in vehicles owned and operated by the S-D, based on the principle of continuous control of the product from production to distribution.


Proposal 4 – Tracking, Testing and Reporting


Quality and safety are the reasons that S-Ds are allowed to sell on-site in the first place. By establishing control at the site of production, consumers can be assured that their product is safe. They also enjoy the benefit of supporting unique  local products. Supplying local stores with local ice cream further strengthens the principle of supporting local as it allows for artisan ice cream makers to shape the local market, similar to craft beer, and establishes local ecosystems as a result. 


S-Ds track their production and know which batch is where at all times.This principle can be easily extended to local distribution where both entities have a visible, local stake in their communities. As a result, S-Ds can use their tracking, test their batches and report their results to the ministry, but also publicly, similar to health inspection reports.


Proposed: S-Ds that wish to sell off-site in their defined local area, work with OMAFRA to ensure that tracking, testing and reporting addresses food safety. It is proposed that regulation 761 (82) be amended to prescribe the tracking, testing and reporting of ice cream made from already pasteurised mix. It is further proposed that this testing be made available to the public via the OMAFRA website. In doing so, this regime would create the designation of shopkeeper/”local” distributor. This designation would apply only to the specific geographic area where the shopkeeper operates. This designation would be in lieu of being a licensed dairy, the costs of which are prohibitive to shopkeeper ice cream shops, and are in effect a barrier to local wholesaling.


Taken together, these four proposals are presented to address what we believe is an opportunity to make Ontario known in North America as having the best ice cream anywhere! It is an opportunity to support unique local products, small businesses, and to reflect the intent of  the Milk Act and its goal to stimulate, increase and improve the producing of milk within Ontario.


Read the letters to the Canadian Dairy Commission, The Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Dairy Processors Association of Canada.

A thank you  (Part I)

There is no other way to say it except to simply say thank you. The past few days, while a blur, will over time, become a blip.  We will never forget the overwhelming support and goodwill from a community that included people from all across our amazing city, and from many other places too.
We want to thank the many who reached out to us with offers of assistance on the next steps. Thanks to you, you have brought an issue forward with our provincial representatives that there is an opportunity here to update regulations to accommodate small enterprises and reflect the realities of life in 2022. We know there can be more than one path to an outcome. All we ask is for our representatives to see what lies ahead as an opportunity and not a threat. A huge thank you to our Mayor, our MP and MPP, and local city councilors and community leaders who were a part of that effort.

Maybe some of you reading this are old enough to remember the craft beer scene 40 years ago. Back then, there was no craft beer. Just the big breweries, and big efforts by them to dominate shelf space, and crowd out the competition. Today, craft beer isn’t just in Ontario, craft beer is part of Ontario’s personality. Today, it’s hard to imagine a visit to any city, town, or village, without a visitor seeking out the local brew, a brew that the locals have loved and supported.
That could be the future of artisanal ice cream in Ontario. It certainly is that elsewhere! Imagine what our provincial landscape could look like in the next few years if we see what we saw over the past week for what it is: a love of what’s local.
Because local is about more than shopping local. It’s about the pride of a community. It is also quality of life, entrepreneurship, and supporting those around us. Local is about relationships, the relationships that cement human interaction, something we used to just take for granted, and that now in our digital age, has become more precious and meaningful than ever before.
The government first introduced the Milk Act in 1965. While there have been many changes to that Act since then, it sometimes still feels like it’s 1965 when you’re a small producer. 
Ottawa is home to many wonderful artisanal ice cream makers. It could be home to many more with many more products on store shelves with the right approach at the provincial level.
As the blur of last week becomes a blip in time, what remains is the opportunity for change. Let’s see it for what it is and make ice cream work, for all. 🙂

A thank you (Part II)

Okay! Enough with the serious stuff! It’s ice cream! And as much as we want to say thank you – it’s way more fun to show our thanks! And so that’s why we’re announcing the Pints Across Ottawa Tour 2022!

And what is the Pints across Ottawa Tour? It will start with The Merry Dairy truck visiting our (now former dairy) wholesalers stretching from Kanata to Orleans with an hour or so of soft serve, and pints at the truck, either pre-ordered, or for sale there with a portion of all sales going to the cause of each wholesaler’s choice! We’re calling them Pint Stops!

Dates and times will be announced soon on our website, in our newsletter and on social media. In the meantime, support your favourite local ice cream maker and let’s have some fun! Who knows, maybe there will even be t-shirts ;-p


National Ice Cream Month Contest Ballot

Click on the image above to download and print your ballot!

Don’t forget to bring it or mail/email it to 102 Fairmont Avenue, Ottawa, K1Y 1X6 by 9pm on July 31, 2022


Or get your own copy of Great Scoops and be entered with each purchase!

(Contest open to residents of Ontario only)


Yeppers. It’s been just over 10 years since that first truck took that first trip down Stirling Avenue to meet our first customers! And because we’re feeling all grown up, and because it’s National Ice Cream Month, we’d love to give away an ice cream maker to go with your very own copy of Great Scoops: Recipes from a Neighbourhood Ice Cream Shop, which tells the story of The Merry Dairy and shares 80 dairy and vegan nut-free ice cream recipes!

But how?

Starting right now until 8 pm July 31st, you can enter to win your very own ice cream maker or a Merry Dairy Ice Cream Truck Tent!

Simply order a Great Scoops Recipe book (or enter through the no purchase required ballot in-store or print it at home and send it to us) to be added to the draw. 
***No purchase necessary; free ballot entry at 102 Fairmont Ave, or online*** (One entry per household please. Open to Ontario residents only 🙂
First, some questions (and hopefully, some answers)
How does it work?
It’s easy! Every copy of Great Scoops purchased at The Merry Dairy between now and Sunday, July 31st at 8 pm will be entered in the draw to win this prize. The prize will be drawn on Sunday night, and the winners will be notified that night.

What is the prize?
There are 3 prizes to be won, which also means 3 winners! Two lucky people will win an ice cream maker that was featured in the making of our recipe book, which includes; the Breville Smart Scoop (approx. $500) or the Elite Gourmet 4QT Old Fashioned Electric Ice Cream Maker (approx. $85). 

Does your little one want to serve your homemade ice from their very own truck? Well, the third prize is an ice cream truck tent! (approx. $55) This wonderful tent is (an almost uncannily perfect) replica of The Merry Dairy soft-serve truck, and is great for outdoor servings of ice cream, mud pies, rocks in a dish, or anything else your little one can dream up! 
But do I really need an ice cream machine? 
Not necessarily! Making ice cream can be as easy as rock salt, ice, and elbow grease! We have a breakdown of ‘which machine should I buy?’ [pg. 16] in Great Scoops, explaining that a machine is not needed (but it works up less of a sweat!). 
What if I already purchased my book from The Merry Dairy?
All good! … All books purchased from back when up to now from The Merry Dairy are eligible. If you purchased in person at 102 Fairmont, as opposed to online here, you can fill out this ballot to register your entry.

And what if I purchased my book elsewhere, or I have a library copy, or I just like to enter contests?
You can fill out a no purchase required entry here(one per household).

Have any more questions?
Send ’em on over via Instagram @themerrydairy or email at


Canada Day 2022

Last year Canada Day felt different as we absorbed that the suffering of children in residential schools was even greater than many could have imagined. Memories carried in the hearts of loved ones, as faded as they might be over time, have the chance for all of us to know their names, and remember that they were loved before they were taken away and abandoned by a system that simply didn’t care.


And this year, as Canada Day approaches, it’s the world that feels different. A senseless slaughter, (tragically only one of several around the world), a shocking school massacre, the theft of the right of choice, and the millions who have succumbed to a pandemic that is over in deed, but not yet in fact.  Throughout history, our capacity to deal with this world must be seen through the eyes of children. Our existence, whatever its meaning, must be to comfort them, to protect them, and to be a source of goodness, laughter, and potential.


As a little ice cream shop, there’s not much we can do, except perhaps to be a place where there is joy, where kids have fun, and yes, even to be a distraction from it all.


This Canada Day, we will be open. And we’d love it if you could join us. This year, more than any other, is a tough one for all, as things cost more and our dollars buy less.  And so, on July 1, it’s free kids cones. And if you don’t have kids, all good, you can have a kids cone too! This Canada Day, more than two years into a pandemic, on a weekend in our city that feels so unpredictable, we’d love to see you.

Press Release

Rhubarb Stalk Exchange Set to Open for 2022 Harvest

$Rhubcoin$ returns!

Here’s how it works!

Ottawa – May 31, 2022 –  Unfettered by recent events, rhubarb patches across the fair city of Ottawa have flourished. Is it a weed in need of a deed? Fret not, rhubarbers! It is now time to trim that patch, bring your catch, and then down the hatch with rhubcoin redeemable for tasty treats from the Realm of Rhubarb at 102 Fairmont Avenue.

Countless backyard experts, far too many to be individually named in this release, have ruminated on the state of their rhubarb patch, with one common question. My patch is out of control! When does this darned Rhubarb Stalk Exchange open?  Well, grab those stalks. That answer is now. 

The opening of the Rhubarb Stalk Exchange at 102 Fairmont Avenue means that rhubarb from your own or even the backyard of an acquaintance or unsuspecting neighbour can be converted into highly valuable $Rhubcoin$ using this overly complex formula developed by a leading crypto expert.

But what about NFT’s? The Merry Dairy doesn’t know about NFT’s but can confirm rhubarb from the ground is a better bet than rhubarb on the blockchain, and the best way to extract the most value out of rhubcoin, is to get it out of the ether as quickly as possible, and exchange at The Merry Dairy for pints, scoops and, yes, even merch.

But what if I have no patch? Fear not! For what we don’t know about NFT’s we do know about poetry, and your poem is a scoop in the making! Submit your ode to rhubarb, by Jun 8 and get your own rhubcoin worth a scoop of the flavour of your choice and get automatically entered a draw for even more rhubcoin!

The Rhubarb Stalk Exchange can close at any time at the whim of The Merry Dairy’s Chief Rhubarb Regulator.  The exchange is open noon-9pm Tuesdays to Sundays.