With summer just beginning to wind down there are still ways to keep the vibes high, just keep loads of delicious ice cream around! While there are quite a few specialty ice cream and gelato spots open in Vancouver now, Rain or Shine Ice Cream stands apart. Below we talked to the owners, Josie and Blair, about everything from Taco Tuesdays to their company’s dedicated environmentalism.
I’m Josie Fenton and my husband is Blair Casey and together we own Rain or Shine Ice Cream.
We actually opened our first location in Kits in November of 2013. We were trying to find a place to set up shop for about 8 months and were planning to be open that summer but didn’t end up finding a space until July. It actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it gave us time to sort of figure things out and find our groove. We opened the Cambie location at the beginning of April this year, just before Easter.
I know! It’s crazy because we don’t have that culinary background, but we do have a passion for tasty desserts. We love travelling, mainly in the US to places like Portland, Seattle and San Fransisco, and having amazing ice cream on our trips. That kinda got us to thinking about how there’s nothing quite like that experience in Vancouver and decided to just go for it.
Some people may not know that other ice cream places in Vancouver use a French technique that uses eggs to make a custard base and that we actually use a Philadelphia base without eggs. We prefer the Philadelphia style because when making ice cream with a custard base you’d generally have to over compensate for the custard flavour with extra blueberry balsamic flavouring, for example. We’re all about fresh, natural and sustainable whole ingredients, sourced locally, seasonally and organically whenever possible.
Eating locally means reducing our carbon footprint. So in order to achieve that all of our keeper flavours, not including chocolate and vanilla which you can’t get in Canada, are all processed in Vancouver. For example, our coffee is roasted by JJ Bean, our lavender is from Maple Ridge and our tea is from a local tea importing guy. When we can’t get local ingredients, we’re focused on getting top notch quality organic or non-GMO ingredients. With our seasonal flavours, summer is our best month; we’ve been hitting all the berries, we’ve got a corn ice cream right now and we’re getting some fruits next week from the Okanagan.
We also have all compostable packaging for our products and use a carbon offsetting company called Cow Power that actually uses cow poop to heat and create energy for farms and helps to subsidize their machines. So yeah, just trying to do our part to be as environmentally conscious and low impact as possible is the most important thing. We also use a lot of reclaimed wood in the design of both our locations.
So it’s only available on Tuesdays and it’s kind of a fun play on a sundae. Our waffle cone takes the place of the taco shell, then you choose 2 flavours of ice cream topped with either whipped cream or topping.
Yeah, we were just talking about that! For the fall come October, we’re gonna get into all those yummy fall flavours like spice and pumpkin. Then come December we’ll switch into our holiday flavours.