John Denver seems to have it about right about sunshine and happiness. And whether we love or loathe daylight savings time, it brings us closer to long, breezy summer nights.
Before we get there, St. Paddy’s day shows the way to spring … and to celebrate that day in its own special way, the cast and crew of The Merry Dairy are pleased to present new flavours, starting Sunday, March 11, or Day 1 of Daylight Savings Time.
Pretzels and Stout … Raise a Guinness – and raise a cone of premium ice cream laced with the stout of Ireland and chocolate covered pretzels!
Hint o’ Mintonburg* … Fresh frozen custard, and green like a shamrock – “minty, yes, but I like it too ….” *only available beginning Wednesday, March 14
and finally …
Leprochaun Rainbow … a bowl (or cone!) of Lucky Charms flavoured ice cream, it’s magically _____…
And looking ahead even further to Easter and beyond, it’s an ice cream carrot cake … available now by special order
And one thing that makes Ottawa summers so great are Ottawa sunsets — @Nancyfromottawa’s instagram feed of sunsets at Westboro beach is the next best thing to being there. And a great reminder of long, summer nights to come …
Whether it’s six more weeks of winter or not, The Merry Dairy reopens on February 3! Come on down between 8 and 2pm for a waffle topped with a scoop of one of our breakfast inspired flavours listed below.
And if you wear your PJs enjoy a free hot chocolate or coffee!
oatmeal & brown sugar | lemon poppy seed | banana chocolate chunk |maple with candied bacon | chocolate | strawberries and cream | Grape Nuts (neither grapes, nor nuts but crunchy, crunchy, crunchy!) | cinnamon toast
mimosa ice pops (fresh squeezed OJ with champagne … for the adults)
Enjoy a glass of homemade mulled wine, egg nog, cider and hot chocolate and check out The Merry Dairy holiday flavours!
Or order a Merry Dairy ice cream Yule Log Cake or Buche de Noel 🎄 made with vanilla frozen custard layered between homemade chocolate wafer cookies on the inside with an outside layer of peppermint candy cane ice cream followed by whipped cream with cocoa.
Big or small, add a pint of Double Blue and Rocky Mountain so that East meets West in one of Canada’s great traditions! And then bring opposing sides together with a pint of Canada150 Maple Bacon! Enjoy all three pints for a special price of $22. Available for purchase online or pick up the store. $8 for individual pints.
Eastern fan? Try Double Blue! Wild blueberries and serviceberries from the lush Ontario landscape are a two point convert, quarterbacked with a strong lemon zest.
Western fan? Try Rocky Mountain – a specialty team combination play of dark chocolate, fudge swirl, marshmallows, and Oreos.
And bring it all together with the #Canada150 Maple Bacon finale as you relive memories of Ottawa Grey Cups from days gone by with Henry Burris, Russ Jackson and Tony Gabriel!
First – Pick up a free pumpkin at The Scary Dairy at 102 Fairmont for the Boo-Scarrry Kids (and yoooouuuuth) Pumpkin Contest! Bring back the carved pumpkin before 3pm on Sunday. For kids 10 and under, one pumpkin will be picked at random to win a free b00-scaaarrry ice cream cake. For the 11-18 category, one pumpkin will be selected by the judgy Scary Dairy and Parkdale Food Centre Staff. All entrants receive a Scary Dairy Treat!
Then second – bring some chill to your scarrry side with a Black Vanilla Frozen Custard cone, made with edible charcoal for that extra je ne sais noir … available now at The Scary Dairy.
And third … on October 31, head on down to 102 Fairmont with non-perishable food and exchange it for a Merry Dairy treat and coupon for our new online store.
So spread the word and bring your family, bring your friends and bring your in-laws for a Scary Dairy Halloween Spooktacular!
And next month … watch for our Grey Cup surprise ….
One of the most common questions about the new store is … so, what are you going to do for winter? The answer is … lots! But before we get to winter plans – a big hello to all new subscribers – many from our Fairmont Sundae Social contest held September 17. Congrats again to our winners. And thank you to all who donated to our four local charities that day as well as to Ottawa’s Triple Trouble who provided musical entertainment!
Photographer Justin van Leeuwen captured the day beautifully in a series of photographs below.
Congratulations Jane Harley – free pints for a year!
As chilling as this winter scene may seem right now, something even more chilling is just around the corner ….
That’s right … The Scary Dairy is back and bigger than ever before now at 102 Fairmont and featuring the truck’s last night before trundling off to its winter hibernation den. Bring non-perishable food on October 31 to help the Parkdale Food Centre and receive a Merry Dairy treat!
First, The Merry Dairy online store will soon be launched, where you can purchase pints (of the ice cream kind!), sandwiches, ice cream cakes and t-shirts and pick them up at the store! Look for all the details in our next blog post …
Third, corporate events! Have a team you want to treat? Spend the afternoon at The Merry Dairy and make your own ice cream as a team, and take home the outputs! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and to book your group!
And finally … Store hours have also been modified a bit – The Merry Dairy will be closed Tuesdays, and will take a winter holiday in January, and open at 3pm on Mondays. And once in a while we may close early 😉
One dollar per regular priced non-soft serve item will also be split among each of the four charities!
And … a raffle! Anyone who has signed up to receive “The Scoop” by Sunday at 4pm has a chance to win one of three prizes – a free pint a week for a year, a gift certificate from Purewater Total Home Leisure, or a Merry Dairy Ice Cream Cake!
One thing has made the past two weeks so special, not to mention the past five years, has been all the Merry Dairy “portraits” taken by our customers.
To mark those first 14 days, here are 14 (or so!) wonderful Instagram posts from some of those customers. And stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter and our web site for details about the Fairmont Sundae Social celebration, happening September 17 at the store. And there are so many people to thank – from the amazing team at Bridgestone Construction, to Spruce Design, and Brandbot Digital Marketing, and many more.
And our biggest thanks to everyone who has taken the time and come by The Merry Dairy over the past two weeks!
This week, The Merry Dairy was being chased by bears …
And this week, our long chase for a new space nears its end as we see 102 Fairmont transformed from one neighbourhood space to another.
Perhaps it was the painting of the exterior, or the new millwork, or the installation of the front counter. All of a sudden, it seems, it has all taken shape.
While our next post will be about the many thanks yous to those who have been a part of this project, one big thank you needs to be said now, which is to our neighbours who have seen the trucks come in and out, patiently putting up with yet another (small, but vital!) construction project in our city!
Another is to our customers, who have been by to see what’s up and who have visited our pop-up frozen custard shop over the past two weeks. Some of their pics are below.
The finish line is in view … we are in the final lap …
About a month ago, I received a message from a Gary Michaels wishing me well with opening a new shop. He shared that his family had lived at 102 Fairmont from the 1930s until the 1970s when it was George’s Corner Store. I was so excited to hear from Gary because it meant I could find out more about the building and the corner store. (Little did I know that Gary was the Gary Michaels well known and loved Ottawa radio personality!)
The Tax roll book from 1930 shows an entry with McBain third line down
I only knew that the McBains were the first owners in 1923. Gary told me that his parents rented from the Davids (surely no relation?) as early as the 1930s and the Davids had purchased from the McBains. When Gary’s father George Zahab passed away in 1960, his mother, Hazel Zahab purchased the building from the Davids and changed the name to The Fairmont Confectionery. Gary said he has fond memories of living above the shop as a child and working in the grocery store.
I have some idea of what that must have been like. My husband’s parents owned a bakery (now my brother-in-law owns it) that is attached to their house, and I know from seeing my children’s excitement how exciting it is to live in a home attached to a shop. When my kids were little, visiting Oma and Opa’s house and running downstairs into a shop filled with so much activity was magical. The shelves were stocked with bread, pastries, jelly donuts, drinks and even candy. As older children, working alongside their grandparents during a summer vacation or Christmas holiday, was the best.
Helping out at the Elmvale Bakery
Making cinnamon rolls at the Elmvale Bakery
In the corner store of Gary’s childhood, his family enjoyed a very busy grocery business. The Zahabs actually grew their own produce on a fifty-acre farm in Carlsbad Springs that they purchased in the late 40s. They grew tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and more. In front of the shop, George had a display shelf built for the fresh corn they sold. Gary remembers fondly spending two summers at the farm with his grandfather and sister. In George’s Corner Store, there was fresh produce on the south side of the store and items like popcorn and chips were on the north side of the doorway. There were two checkout registers on either side of the middle aisle. The Zahab family worked hard, growing their produce and selling it. Unfortunately, it was the supermarkets opening on Sunday and staying open late that changed the course of their business. Hazel Zahab sold the shop in 1972.
When I first saw this building, I could envision a production kitchen for The Merry Dairy in the back part of the shop. At first glance, space was quickly taken up by a freezer, ice cream equipment, and work areas. The front, however, is all about the scoop shop and people walking in from the street for a frozen treat. I have had so much help from Stefania Crilly, owner of Spruce Design in creating this space. There will be outdoor seating and a few spots to sit inside along the front window. The best part of the shop? There will be three kinds of ice cream: in addition to Midwestern style frozen custard being made in the first continuous batch ice cream machine purchased now five years ago, there will also be soft serve custard and regular hard scoop ice cream in the dipping cabinet.
Here’s what the storefront for The Merry Dairy will look like. As work continues over the next few weeks, you can see how we are building on the brand originally designed for the truck by Brandbot Digital Marketing. Inside pics coming soon! (ps – want to learn more about Kitchissippi’s history? Visit the Kitchissippi Museum blog!