Ice Cream Lovers Flock to Zoey’s

October 2017

ZoeysAdmit it, fellow lovers of ice cream, you’ve probably spent more summer evenings than you’ll admit to peering into the cases and asking for tastes of the newest flavors at Zoey’s Cafe & All Natural Ice Cream at 199 E. Main Street downtown.

And the ever-cheerful, helpful staff are more than happy to oblige us, patiently waiting out our indecisiveness, occasionally weighing in with their own favorites. So many flavors. So little time. What’s a person to do?

It’s a dilemma that owners Zoe and Ryan Lehmann have lovingly created over the 12 years since they opened the shop at the corner of First and Main. Our indecision could well stem from the fact that Zoey’s offers some 40 flavors of ice cream and gelatos, many of them flavored with fresh, yummy local ingredients such as Oregon Bing cherries, hazelnuts, pears, and blackberries.

“All of our ice creams and gelatos are mixed by hand into 12-gallon batches,” says Ryan. “Our cream comes from a family dairy in the Willamette Valley. Zoey’s ice cream tastes amazing because it’s made the old fashioned way with cream, sugar, eggs, and nothing artificial.”

To make the Zoey’s experience accessible to everyone, Ryan says, the shop recently added “an organic, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, Coconut Bliss ice cream made from coconut milk and sweetened with agave.”
And Zoey’s isn’t just for ice cream. The charming shop has plenty of seating indoors and out, and opens every day at 8 am for “coffeehouse breakfast.” For lunch, they offer an array of soups, salads, focaccia sandwiches, wraps, croissant melts, and calzones. They stay open late—in summer until midnight—so they are the perfect spot for an ice cream and coffee after the theater.

Zoe, from Australia, and Texas-born Ryan have lived 15 years in Ashland, drawn here by “all that the Rogue Valley has to offer,” she says, “and it’s a great place to raise a family.” Both have worked in restaurants since they were teenagers. Zoe is the chef and Ryan focuses on customer service and the business side of things. They opened Zoey’s because, says Zoe, “First and foremost we love great food and ice cream!”

It’s a known fact that it’s nearly impossible to be unhappy while eating ice cream, which might explain why Zoe observes, “Our customers are a uniquely happy group; we love that about having an ice cream shop.”

For more info: 541-482-4794. And you can like them on Facebook.