Thinking back on your happiest memories as a child, what comes to mind? A favorite toy? Your closet family member or a beloved family pet?
While it’s safe to say most of us have experienced an unforgettable sense of joy from one, if not all, of these things, there is one common, yet often forgotten factor that has provided our summers, our tastebuds, and our hearts with a sense of unmeasurable love and contentment: ice cream.
Not what you expected us to say, huh? Probably not, but it’s so true! Flash back to your favorite time before you started hardcore adulting (boring). You immediately think of your summer breaks in between the start of each school year, right? Can you honestly remember a summer that didn’t involve ice cream? (Maybe the answer is yes for those of you that are lactose intolerant…) but you get our point.
Surprisingly, D.C. decided to give us a rare glimpse into what warmer weather feels like (we had forgotten what sun felt like on bare skin thanks to this prolonged winter) so we decided to venture down to the Navy Yard waterfront in Southeast D.C. to check out a sweet shop of a different kind: Ice Cream Jubilee!
Icecream Jubilee is the pride and joy of founding owner Victoria Lai, who after years of perfecting her ice-cream art, decided to share her love of one of America’s favorites treats with the rest of the world.
(Photo by Stephen Reasoner)
Thinking back on all of the moments that made Victoria’s childhood so special, she realized there was one common theme: the presence of ice-cream. After years of tapping into her creativity to invent out-of-this-world flavors for friends and family, Victoria decided to take a break from her corporate law career to apprentice at a Brooklyn pie shop. Afterwards, she moved back to D.C. to take a job as a presidential appointee at the Department of Homeland Security, but continued to invent unique flavors and host tasting parties in her home.
Before long, Victoria’s flavors were flying off grocery store shelves, and Icecream Jubilee was voted People’s Choice for Best Icecream at the DC Scoop competition.
At Lai’s new Navy Yard storefront in Southeast D.C., which opened in July 2014, it’s easy for anyone to see why this “icecreamprenuer” is so successful. (In fact, it has been named “Best Icecream Shop in DC” by Washington City Paper, and was featured on Thrillist’s “Best Icecream Shops in America” list).
By using a unique, small-batch technique – only making a few gallons at a time – Icecream Jubilee creates dozens of the freshest, most high- quality flavors that keep icecream fanatics coming back for more. While the flavors change seasonally, these are some of the flavors you can currently get your hands on:
Banana Bourbon Caramel, Bold Vanilla, Caramel Coconut Cashew (sorbet), Caramel Popcorn, Chocolate Chocolate, Chocolate Matzo Crack, Coconut Lychee Lime (sorbet), Cold Brew Coffee, Cookies & Cookie Dough, Darkest Chocolate Truffle (sorbet), Fresh Minty Chip, Honey Lemon Lavender, MarionBerry, Passionfruit Guava (sorbet), Strawberry White Chocolate, and Thai Iced Tea, among others.
Our personal favorite was the “Darkest Chocolate Truffle” which we paired with the “Cookies and Cookie Dough” (over top of a giant, warm and gooey chocolate chip cookie and generously drizzled with hot fudge and caramel). This beauty below is called the “Quarter Pounder Cookie & Icecream Volcano”:
Let’s take a close-up look at this cookie-icecream duo action:
In addition to her immense talent for crafting to-die-for desserts, Victoria’s kind and adventurous spirit rubs off not just in the creation of her products, but in every interaction she has with her customers. Each of the store’s staff members also share a love for icecream, which unifies them in a way unlike other stores similar in nature.
Another “joyous” fact? Ice Cream Jubilee sources its cream from South Mountain Creamery, a family-owned creamery in Middletown, Maryland just 50 miles outside of Washington, DC. The first creamery of its kind in the state, the business is responsible for the milk they produce from the cow all the way to the bottle. If you ever wonder why Icecream Jubilee’s treats are so rich and delicious, you can thank South Mountain for their contribution!
As the hot summer months soon approach, consider taking some time to visit Victoria and her crew for some of the best icecream in our nation’s capitol (feel free to go before summer – you can have icecream any time, trust us!) Icecream Jubilee will not only help you reminice on the happiest days of old, but create new memories that will surely keep you coming back for more.