Lisa Herlinger, the creator behind Ruby Jewel Ice Cream in Portland, Ore., first was inspired to start an ice cream company by ice cream treats from her childhood.
Determined to craft flavors and use ingredients that positively represented the Northwest’s focus on locally-sourced ingredients, Herlinger founded Ruby Jewel in 2004. A small endeavor that started with selling ice cream at farmer’s markets, Ruby Jewel has since grown to two scoop shops in the Portland area. Throughout its growth, Herlinger continues to maintain the company’s commitment to the local community and economy.
What makes Ruby Jewel Ice Cream unique?
Ruby Jewel starts with fresh milk and cream that we get from Lochmead Dairy, a local dairy farm, to produce each ice cream. Our base formula is made on Tuesdays and delivered to us fresh on Wednesdays each week. We then either create our flavors in our own kitchen or use locally-sourced flavors.
Where did the inspiration come from to incorporate honey into your product?
The first inspiration came from a honey lavender steamer I had at a local dessert cafe. I thought the combination of flavors would shine in an ice cream.
What does Ruby Jewel love about working with honey?
There are many unique varietals of honey, and I love that. After being slightly heated, honey easily incorporates into our ice cream base and adds a beautiful texture and flavor.
What are your most popular ice creams?
Our customers love our caramel with salted chocolate, peanut butter dream and honey lavender. Our lemon cookie with honey lavender ice cream sandwich is our third best selling ice cream sandwich.
What is your favorite ice cream with honey and why?
Honey basil soft serve. This is my favorite honey flavor. It has subtle hints of both honey and basil, which create a balanced and refreshing taste.
Do you have any future plans to add more ice cream with honey to your menu?
Of course! Peanut butter and honey is a flavor we plan to experiment with next!
Wildflower honey ice cream is now on our special farmers market sandwich list—with a sesame cookie. We also use honey in the roasted nuts that are in our apple ice cream with honey-roasted walnuts.