Clumpies, The Ice Cream Show dish on what makes them two of Chattanooga's most-loved ice cream shops

Edge photo provided by Clumpies / That complex twist of deliciousness you detect in Clumpies' Whiskey Caramel Cornflake Crunch? That's brought to you as a local collaboration with Chattanooga Whiskey.
Edge photo provided by Clumpies / That complex twist of deliciousness you detect in Clumpies' Whiskey Caramel Cornflake Crunch? That's brought to you as a local collaboration with Chattanooga Whiskey.

Clumpies Ice Cream Co.

Two hundred pounds of fresh Georgia peaches have just arrived at Clumpies Ice Cream Co. and senior manager Ashley Bottoms couldn't be happier. Their destiny? They're on their way to becoming the next batch of Peach Cobbler ice cream - a sinful blend of peach jam swirls and pie crust crunch.

Four times a year, Clumpies releases a new round of seasonal gourmet creations in addition to their 18 classic flavors available year-round. Available until the end of summer, the current menu includes Whiskey Caramel Cornflake Crunch, Blueberry Muffin, Blackberry Mojito, Peach Cobbler, Malted Peanut Squared, Lemonberry Cake, Key Lime Pie and Sweet Corn Blueberry (Bottoms' personal favorite).

So what is their secret to success? It comes down to attention to detail, says Bottoms, who holds a culinary degree from Johson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina. The cream base is pasteurized in the shop's kitchen, one batch at a time. And add-ins like the caramel/whiskey sauce, or cookie dough or pralines are all made in-house, using local ingredients when possible.

Clumpies Ice Cream Co., was started in 1999 on the North Shore by Chattanoogan Marshall Brock and was acquired in 2013 by the Lookout Mountain attraction See Rock City, which has since added other outlets in St. Elmo and the Southside in addition to Clumpies ice cream truck.

"By making things here, we have more control over the flavor," Bottoms says. The differences are subtle but real, like using brown sugar instead of regular white for flavors like Butter Pecan or Coffee Cake. And oh, yes - there's the unabashed use of butter fat, the secret ingredient to making it all so creamy and delicious.


Southside1401 Market St.423-648-5425North Shore26 Frazier Ave423-267-5425St. Elmo3917 St. Elmo Ave423-821-0807Web:

Surviving the pandemic has been a wild ride for Clumpies, she says, but their online delivery service was a huge factor in helping them survive. The service was launched in 2019 and helped sell about 1,200 pints. But by 2020, the service was in high demand, with that figure jumping almost ten-fold to 11,000 pints.

Now in 2022, business ebbs and flows, and has mostly returned to pre-pandemic numbers. Ultimately, though, she is thankful to have a job that creates joy in the world.

"At the end of the day, we get to make people happy through ice cream," she says. "And that is such a gift."

The Ice Cream Show

When it comes to creating the perfect ice cream combination, you're the head chef at The Ice Cream Show.

"Your imagination is the limit," says manager Gerrit Bontekoe. "You dream it, we cream it."

The first part is easy enough. You choose. Are you going with ice cream or frozen yogurt - and is it going to be chocolate or vanilla? Then step two requires a little more artistry. You've got more than 40 fresh ingredients to choose from. According to Bontekoe's math, that comes to about 17,000 possible combinations.

"People come up with all sorts of mixtures," he says. "Things I would never think about. Then once I try them, they become my new favorite."

The Ice Cream Show

105 Walnut Street423-702-5173

This spring marked 13 years of success in Chattanooga for The Ice Cream Show. Located on the south side of the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, it's a great place to stop for a treat before or after a stroll. It's also a great place for some top-notch people-watching.

"The Ice Cream Show is a one-of-a-kind for Chattanooga," says Bontekoe. "Most small businesses don't make it past five years, so we feel very blessed to have been here for as long as we have."

The Ice Cream Show also offers a wide assortment of gourmet coffees, teas and smoothies, as well as sugar- and dairy-free ice cream options.

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