Farmers Market Feature: Pint’s Peak ice cream is anything but vanilla

It’s high season for farmers markets. No matter your neighborhood, you can find local produce and handicrafts near you. In Farmer’s Market Finds, recipe creator and freelance writer Ashlee Redger highlights some of the best sellers at the local farmers’ market and whips up a recipe using their products.

Pints ​​Peak Ice

Where to find it: The Boulder Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and the South Pearl Street Farmers’ Market on Sundays

For more information: Visit

Click to enlarge

Caitlin Howington uses her experience as a pastry chef to create innovative ice cream flavors.

Pint’s Peak/Instagram

About the company: Caitlin Howington, founder and former pastry chef of Pint’s Peak Ice Cream, has worked in the food and beverage industry for over fifteen years. She got her start on the East Coast and, after earning a pastry degree from Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia, worked in various restaurants (including a stint with Iron Chef Jose Garces).

Eventually, she left the restaurant industry, opting for positions in hospitality sales, operations and marketing as well as event management. After moving to Denver in August 2019, she joined the sales team for a high-end restaurant company.

But as she found her footing in Colorado, Howington had artisanal ice cream on her mind. When she was fired from her job in April 2020, it almost felt like kismet. “It’s been bubbling in my mind for a few years at this point, and my background is pastry,” Howingtown recalled. “When COVID happened, the universe just gave me all this time, so I was like, ‘I’m just going to go. “”She created Pint’s Peak, and it took off immediately.

At first, she sold containers of her designs exclusively through delivery and pop-ups all over town. As the business has grown, Howington has found places where ice cream lovers can come and see it. in addition to markets, you can now find Pint’s Peak at businesses such as Leevers Locavore, Pine Melon and based on Boulder Lolita Market and Delicatessen.

While the flavors you’ll find weekly at farmers’ markets are on rotation and you’ll miss them, the innovative options Howington creates are deliciously memorable. One of the most popular and established flavors is honeycomb vanilla, which is flavored with vanilla from Madagascar and mixed with pieces of honeycomb candy. Honeycomb is a golden caramelized sugar confection that has been aerated with baking soda to create a light, crisp caramel-like crunch. It’s a beloved ice cream flavor in New Zealand, but has been underappreciated (until now) in the United States. It combines the textures of crunchy candies with pockets where the honeycomb has melted and swirled in a sweet caramel sauce.

Click to enlarge Pint's Peak ice cream is available by the pint, by the bowl, or in brown sugar and vanilla waffle cones.  - PIC DE LA PINT/INSTAGRAM

Pint’s Peak ice cream is available by the pint, by the bowl, or in brown sugar and vanilla waffle cones.

Pint’s Peak/Instagram

You can also grab flavors like Smoked S’mores, which is a chocolate base with smoked chocolate fudge, graham crackers and marshmallow, and Cuban coffee, swirled with dulce de leche.

Howington will also often create even more limited runs of special flavors for local festivals and events, such as Mazel Toffee, which was created for the Boulder Jewish Festival and included orange blossom flavors and pistachio caramel bits. salty. For FAN EXPO earlier this month, Pint’s Peak selected flavors inspired by the Lord of the Rings, stranger things, game of thrones and Jay and Silent Bob.

As Pint’s Peak’s popularity grows, Howington says one of the biggest obstacles to success is funding. “[It] is a huge challenge for startups, and people don’t necessarily talk about it,” she explains. “They don’t tell you that you don’t actually qualify for small business loans or a traditional bank loan until you’ve been in business for at least two or three years. »

In recent months Pint’s Peak has had to leave its former police station kitchen after overflowing the space – and its ice cream maker, which took half an hour to churn out six liters of ice cream base (a pace that left Howington feeling “always late “). She had a new machine in mind, one that could produce four times as much ice cream and run in eight-minute bursts… but the price hit hard at $32,000.

Pint’s Peak has received assistance from a variety of sources in its fundraising efforts, including the Colorado Enterprise Fund, which offers business loans that are not yet eligible for traditional small business loans. He’s also received grants, including through organizations that focus on women-owned startups, like Women’s Network and Its head office.

Most notably, Howington launched a crowdfunding loan via in April this year. Kiva is well known for its reputation in facilitating financing for women-owned small businesses and POCs around the world. The loan reached its goal of $15,000 within weeks with the help of just over 300 lenders. Barring (more) supply chain delays, Pint’s Peak will produce more ice cream than ever by the end of July.

With the new ice cream maker on the way, Howington already has big plans for the future. Once the farmer’s market season is over, she plans to build a mobile ice cream truck for next year. In addition to scoop ice cream, it will also serve more elaborate treats like ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, and floats.

Click to enlarge Make a boozy Pint's Peak Float at home with any sorbet, your choice of liqueur and/or liquor and sparkling water or club soda.  -ASHLEE REDGER

Make a boozy Pint’s Peak Float at home with any sorbet, your choice of liqueur and/or liquor and sparkling water or club soda.

Ashlee Redger

How to use it: The Pint’s Peak team are currently serving floats at their market stalls, so once you’ve tried them (and become obsessed with them), try making your own at home. Use two scoops of your favorite sorbet or ice cream and top with 4-6 fluid ounces of your choice of drink (like the local Oliko Ginger Beerfancy soda or even a fruity sour beer to accompany sorbets).

To make it alcoholic, add 1 ½ fluid ounces of alcohol and/or liqueur. Since ice cream flavors change often, you can experiment with new flavor combinations every week. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Any berry sorbet + ½ fl oz limoncello or elderflower liqueur + 1 fl oz vodka + seltzer water
  • Peach Smash sorbet + bourbon or spiced rum + ginger beer
  • Smoky S’mores Ice Cream + Cold Brew Nitro Coffee or Vanilla Porter
  • Lemongrass coconut ice cream + light rum + lemon, lime or grapefruit soda
Click to enlarge Pint's Peak's newest sundae: the Bee's Knees, featuring Honeycomb Vanilla Ice Cream, Bee Pollen, Real Honeycomb, and Hatch Chili Cornbread.  - PIC DE LA PINT/INSTAGRAM

Pint’s Peak’s newest sundae: the Bee’s Knees, featuring Honeycomb Vanilla Ice Cream, Bee Pollen, Real Honeycomb, and Hatch Chili Cornbread.

Pint’s Peak/Instagram

Bonus Farmer’s Market Finds: Ice cream is a year-round treat, but be sure to grab these seasonal items this month:

  • The cherries will be here and gone by the end of July, so stock up while they’re sweet!
  • Grab fresh asparagus before it drops out of peak season.
  • Empty your produce drawers for carrots and strawberries.
  • Heartier greens like Swiss chard, kale, and collard greens are here. Toss them into pasta with a big drizzle of lemon juice, or season generously and simmer for a barbecue side.
  • Green salads like arugula, lettuce and spinach are also fresh and ready to turn all season long.

Carol N. Valencia