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Curt Peterson just might be an ice cream prodigy. The owner of Smith & Canon Ice Cream Co. didn’t make his first batch of the sweet stuff until three years ago, but now the ice cream he’s selling out of his cute East Colfax shop is among the best in town.
“It was horrible,” Peterson says of his first attempt, made for his father-in-law’s birthday. “I had to fix it. In the process of fixing it, the people who tried it had a powerful reaction to it.”
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After perfecting his recipe, the stay-at-home-dad-turned-entrepreneur opened Smith & Canon in March. (The shop is named after his two daughters, ages two and five.) Here’s what you need to know about Peterson’s creative, small-batch flavors:
Smith & Canon serves Philadelphia-style ice cream. Peterson makes his own ice cream base—a rarity in Denver, where most ice cream producers use a pre-made custard base—and prefers the flavor of Philly-style ice cream, which is made without eggs. Don’t worry, it’s still super creamy, thanks to a strategic ingredient mixing order and bonuses like sweetened condensed milk in certain flavors. Without the eggs, the flavors really pop, which brings us to…
You’ve probably never tried Peterson’s flavor combinations. Wasabi and honeydew. Thai iced tea. Strawberry and habanero. El Chupacabra, a spicy chocolate number. These outside-the-box flavors don’t just work, they’re primed to become your new go-tos.
Other flavors are more familiar. Want to keep wasabi out of your ice cream? Fair enough. The Ghirardelli-based chocolate, vanilla, butter brickle, and peanut butter cup are always on the menu.
You’ll get quite the sampling. If you come by when the line isn’t out the door, Peterson will take you on a flavor journey, sampling you on five or so flavors ranging in heat and sweetness. This is a good thing because how else would you know that customer darling Foxy Brown—a cheesecake and cinnamon roll flavor—is your favorite-ever flavor combo?
Smith & Canon’s coffee ice cream floats (and affogatos) are the adult treat(s) you didn’t know you were missing. Peterson toured several roasters before picking Commerce City-based Whiskey Barrel coffee products for his shop. You can buy an Americano or a latte sans ice cream, of course, but why would you? Peterson will make you a delightfully buzz-inducing nitro cold brew float with two scoops of ice cream or an affogato with ice cream and a shot of hot espresso.
Daily, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.; 2260 E. Colfax Ave., 720-546-6377.