The Mendocino County area is full of rolling hills and lush, green land that makes farming ideal. With farms, come cows, and with cows come milk and cream. Lots of creamy goodness awaits you in Mendocino County – we loved trying all different kinds of locally-made treats during our visit – especially Cowlick’s Ice Cream!
Cowlick’s Ice Cream
For a fast and simple treat after some fun in the sun head to Cowlick’s Ice Cream. Just a short drive from glass beach, this sweet shop is always bustling with a mix of visitors and friendly locals! Part of what makes the ice cream so special is that the ice cream is handmade.
While it’s easy to enjoy (and probably will be gone in just a few bites!) there’s a lot of work that goes into the production of the ice cream at Cowlick’s Ice Cream. Much of the weighing, chopping, folding and mixing is done by hand. You can try out all their unique flavors – including their mushroom cap ice cream (which, according to some, is a sweet, savory mixture and is created with candy cap mushrooms).
This local business prides itself on supporting other local small businesses – many of the ingredients they use come from local businesses and farmers. The cookie dough they use is made especially for them by the Mendocino Cookie Company. The very rare and delicious candy cap mushrooms are harvested locally by Mendocino Mushrooms. Even their dairy comes from happy Northern California cows! Their amazing chocolates and cocoa powders come from Guittard – a San Francisco based family business for over 145 years. They scrutinize every aspect of the production process to ensure they are producing ice cream that is not only delicious, but also something they community can be proud of. They have been recognized by TripAdvisor and Daily Candy for being one of the best ice cream shops in the nation. Definitely worth a stop when you’re in Mendocino County!
Pennyroyal Family Farm
Pennyroyal Family Farm is a local creamery, winery and eatery where the saying goes “every goat, sheep and cheese has a name!” This estate vineyard is located in the beautiful Anderson Valley. Pennyroyal is named after the wild mint plant that grows plentifully on the 66-acre property (and is snacked on by the farm’s goats).
The farm’s cheese is made fresh daily and exclusively from the milk that is produced on-site by the goats and sheep, which are fed from what the farm grows. Each cheese is made in a small batch, which allows them to keep a keen eye on every ingredient and step in the cheese-making process. The farmstead cheese created is even more high-quality than artisan cheese! In exchange for their hard work, the goats and sheep providing milk for the cheese are well-pampered and their days include lots of opportunities to munch on grasses and wild plants, which you can see while touring the farm! You can also head inside to tour the creamery or to the garden, which is a favorite spot for children to play. The veggie plot boasts herbs, greens, fruits and flowers.