If you’ve never experienced the sweet-and-salty nirvana that is ice cream and french fries eaten together, well, you just haven’t lived—at least that’s according to Amy and Josh Albert, the couple behind Plymouth’s only independent ice cream shop, Honey and Mackie’s.
“We just really, really love ice cream,” says Amy of the couple’s longtime dream of owning their own parlor. “And in Minnesota, we needed something hot—hence, the fries—because most of the year is so cold.”
The couple has been churning out sweet treats and salty fries at Honey and Mackie’s since the shop opened last May. The concept percolated in the Alberts’ minds for several years, and when their youngest child started kindergarten in 2012, they made their vision a reality. Named for their children Henry, 7, and Max, 12, the store has an undeniable family feel to it, but doesn’t cater exclusively to children in either design or flavor.
Dark wood and stainless steel are punctuated by pops of color from the graphic designs done by Minneapolis company Wink. The space has a contemporary vibe that’s inviting without being cartoonish. And the food, while certainly kid-friendly, is of the highest quality: Everything is made in-house, from the waffle cones to the now-famous seasoned sour cream designed for french fry dipping. Fresh Idaho potatoes are hand-cut and double-fried to achieve the perfect crisp texture, and an ever-rotating list of flavors written in bright colors on a chalkboard behind the counter ensures that Amy can churn whatever’s currently inspiring her into the ice cream. “When you only have two products, they have to be the best,” she says.
Honey and Mackie’s takes its flavors seriously; for example, those that incorporate coffee have a fresh-roasted taste studded by chunks of chocolate or big pieces of Oreo cookies, depending on which of the 22 daily flavors it is (selected from a 65- flavor rotation). Lemon sorbet is a mouth-puckering homage to the fruit, and the signature seasoned salt on the french fries is bold without overwhelming the taste buds. With very few flavor flops to her name (including a jalapeño raspberry ice cream that needed only some tweaking to become a hit), Amy is building quite a reputation with her regular customers.
“The handmade ice cream is really wonderful,” says Scott Horbal, who travels from Champlin for the treat. “I’m never afraid to try new flavors.”
“It’s just delicious,” Plymouth resident Connie Pizano agrees; her husband Nick adds that the shop’s adventurous spirit has inspired him to fall in love with new combinations, like the popular salted caramel and peanut flavor.
Amy can’t take full credit for her flavor repertoire; she takes requests from people who stop in at the shop, and employees write their own original ideas on a lengthy list of Post-It notes in the back. The store’s Facebook page is active and advertises special deals and contests for customers, who have even gotten to name some of the shop’s offerings.
The store also has integrated itself into the community through partnerships with schools and local charities, including a toy drive for the IOCP Birthday Shelf to celebrate Henry’s birthday, and ice cream donations to 60 Plymouth neighborhoods that participated in National Night Out last August.
On tap for spring are a return of the shop’s outrageously popular Key lime ice cream (with and without graham cracker crumbles) and other seasonal favorites. //
3 Tips from Amy Albert for Making Ice Cream at Home
Amy Albert is an artist when it comes to mixing up sweet, rich batches of ice cream, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to flavor combinations.
She shares her top three tips for trying your hand at making ice cream at home.
1. Don’t be afraid to go bold with your ingredients. “People worry about adding too much,” Amy says. “But you want that punch of flavor.”
2. Keep your ice cream and mix-ins chunky. “When I make our cookies and cream ice cream, I put half the cookies in before churning to really let the flavor permeate,” she says, “then save the rest so there are big chunks in every bite.”
3. Don’t be afraid to mix unexpected flavors. “I fought Josh hard on adding a caramel swirl to our pumpkin-caramel-crunch flavor,” Amy says, “but it turned out really great.”
Honey & Mackie’s
16725 County Road 24
11 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Thu.; 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat.; 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Sun.
Go to plymouthmag.com for three tips to make ice cream at home.
In addition to the ice cream and fries Honey & Mackie’s is known for, delicious add-ons like waffle bites and traditional hard candy are available.