PORT ANGELES, Wash. — Hidden away on the Port Angeles waterfront there's a new place serving an icy treat from New Zealand. Opened in 2021, Welly’s Real Fruit Ice Cream is the only place in Washington that serves New Zealand style ice cream. Lillie Phillips, who owns this place with her husband Jacob, discovered it while traveling and working in New Zealand.
“One of the little random jobs I picked up was at an ice cream shop, so that's how I learned of this machine called a Little Jem,” Lillie said. “New Zealand style ice cream is where you blend the fruit right in.”
To make a New Zealand style cone or bowl, a scoop of sweet cream ice cream from Lopez Island Creamery, then frozen berries (locally grown when possible, when we were there the raspberries were from Sequim’s Graysmarsh Farm) go into a contraption that looks like a cone with a drill press attached. The drill mashes it all together, and what comes out is a pastel pink, blue, or purple (depending on the berries used) soft serve that’s delicious to eat, and fun to watch being made. They can also make non-dairy New Zealand style cones.
“The kids are so cute, the little ones will lean up on the counter, they like watching it, eyes get big," Lillie said. "It's just something they haven't seen before."
The mechanics of making these cones fascinates grownups too, there’s usually a line at this place. Employees mix fruit with scoops of ice cream at a breakneck pace, handing over perfectly formed, sometimes ombre tinted cones. It takes a lot of training to perfect the whorls. Lillie said that new employees are given a tub of ice cream, some fruit, and lots of time on the Little Jem to perfect the swirl.
“It’s an art form!”
Welly's (named for Wellington, the capital of New Zealand) also has a next-level play area, complete with a couple of swings, and a saltwater view. Sprinkles on top of a place that already has it dialed in. And based on the size of the weekday crowd when we were there, the Upper Left is loving this fresh treat from Down Under. And Lillie and Jacob Phillips are enjoying serving it up.
“Ice cream is endless happiness!” Jacob said.
Welly’s Real Fruit Ice Cream is located at 115 E. Railroad Ave., #103 Port Angeles, WA, 98362, and summer hours are 12:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday – Monday (closed on Tuesdays).
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