If the name Ian Clark sounds familiar, that’s because it probably is. Not only did Clark spend a decade working as a chef for Dave Query’s Big Red F Restaurant Group, he’s also the owner, chef, and brew master at Boulder’s Bru Handbuilt Ales & Eats. Despite his already-diverse resume, his latest venture—an ice cream shop—is a bit of a departure.
Slated to open in early April, Heifer and the Hen will use organic ice cream as an artistic base for a world of innovative flavors. This is no chocolate-and-vanilla ice cream shop. Instead, Clark cites creative flavors like goat milk cajeta, whiskey ginger, mango lassi, mint-basil bitter chocolate (infused with herbs plucked straight from his garden), and even banh mi. For the banh mi variety, Clark embellishes burnt honey ice cream with roasted almonds and pâte à choux for a creative take on the Vietnamese sandwich.
While banh mi ice cream might sound wacky, Clark says that many of the flavors have been inspired by trips around the world with his wife, Bryce. Clark’s extensive travels through Vietnam, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Europe, Curacao, and all over the United States bode well for the 20 or so seasonally rotating flavors. Rather than coffee ice cream, you’ll find a Vietnamese coffee flavor, which subs sweetened condensed milk for part of the ice cream base and is infused with Ozo coffee beans. You’ll also find Belgian waffle ice cream sandwiches stuffed with sweet maple bacon ice cream, and spent-grain chocolate-chip cookie sandwiches filled with creamy malt ice cream (this delicious recipe appeared in 5280: The Cookbook.) Eight dairy-free options and sorbets will also be available, as well as homemade sodas in flavors like cherry Szechuan pepper, blackberry, and orange blossom.
The sodas also shine at Heifer and the Hen’s special float bar, where you can kick back and forth on a group of swings as you sip your float. In keeping with the concept, expect floats made with things far more innovative than root beer (as well as an affogato made with cold-pressed nitro tap coffee). As it turns out, the idea for the swings, and for the ice cream shop in general, stems from Clark’s childhood in Gorham, Maine, where he made a beeline to Beal’s Ice Cream shop after every Little League game. “I was addicted to their caramel cream ripple. Later, I was more attracted to the all the girls from my high school who worked there, but it really was the ice cream that stuck in my memory,” he reminisces. “I want this place to be like Beal’s.”
Heifer and the Hen will open in East Boulder (right next door to Bru) on April 1.
Heifer and the Hen, 5290 Arapahoe, Unit H, Boulder
Bru Handbuilt Ales & Eats, 5290 Arapahoe, Unit I, Boulder, 720-638-5193