Spring River Dipper, Mammoth Spring, Arkansas: Simply Awesome!

15 Sep

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I travel frequently to the Hardy, Mammoth Spring area of the Ozark Gateway where I love to visit the little downtown shops, the flea markets, and enjoy some quality trout fishing. But a few years ago a cousin of mine told me about a little jewel I had never heard of, but now I can never travel to the area without visiting.

This jewel is the Spring River Dipper. The official address is 746 Hwy 63South, Mammoth Spring, AR 72554 for those of you with navigational guides. For those who like good directions, just drive on through Hardy past the McDonald’s on North 63 and travel the fifteen miles or so to get to Mammoth Spring. When you can see Spring River on the west side of the road, you are getting close. The ice cream shop sits on the east side of the road in a little strip mall that also includes a diner.

All of the flavors of ice cream are made on the premises, so this is essentially an artisan shop. I remember speaking with the owner the spring after the bad ice storm that paralyzed Arkansas and several other states. He said he had to pour out over 400 gallons of ice cream after his generators exhausted all of his propane tanks and he couldn’t have any more delivered due to the icy roads. I nearly cried.

I have a different favorite every time I stop in. The mint chocolate chip has flakes of green mint and mint chocolate as large as quarters. Other personal favorites of mine are the raspberry and blue-berry cheesecakes, and the purple-cow, which is raspberry and white chocolate. But they make all of the traditional flavors, some you will never have heard of, and they will be delighted to taunt you with samples of every flavor to make your selection that much more difficult. And if you just can’t decide, they have a sampler platter where you can get several different flavors for a reasonable price. They bake their own waffle cones, and have a variety of toppings that are almost as impossible to choose between as the flavors.

I mentioned this is an artisan shop because of the rare combination of quality , variety, and value. The selections and combinations are limitless. The toppings are fresh. The servings are generous, and I have discovered the owner gives a more generous serving than his employees! And, of course, the prices, especially for a tourist attraction, are far more reasonable than a Baskin Robbins or even a Dairy Queen.

The pictures I have uploaded are of the banana split I had during my last visit. The three flavors of ice cream I chose were blueberry cheesecake, mint chocolate chip and purple cow (raspberry with white chocolate). I had blueberry, hot fudge and raspberry toppings on the ice cream topped with whipped cream, nuts and cherries.  The total price for this delicacy was less than five dollars. I promise, it was as delicious as it looked!

If you find a favorite and want to take some home, they sell pints and quarts at reasonable prices. The poured-up ice cream is stored at zero degrees, and I have been able to make the 90 minute drive from the Spring Dipper home with a minimal thaw on the ice cream, but they will pack it in dry ice if you have far to go.

The employees are always friendly and generous with their samples. The store and restrooms are always spotless. And the owner truly enjoys hearing you tell him how much you loved his ice cream.

Every time I drive to Mammoth Spring I fear they may have closed, but they have remained open for years now, and if we all buy ice cream every time we go there, we can keep them open.

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