Love and Fresh Fruit at Bristol's Lu•lu Ice Cream Bar | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Love and Fresh Fruit at Bristol's Lu•lu Ice Cream Bar


Published April 19, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated August 9, 2022 at 1:21 p.m.

  • Brent Harrewyn

Laura and Martha Mack worked their first restaurant shifts as toddlers. In the farm-to-table kitchen of Mary's Restaurant at the Inn at Baldwin Creek, chef-owner Doug Mack hitched his daughters to a carrier pack on his back as he worked the line. The sisters grew up in the heat of that kitchen, sampling the various bites their father passed to them.

By adulthood, the Mack sisters had an ingrained culinary aptitude and a taste for locally sourced fare. In the summer of 2012, they channeled their know-how into something sweet: Lu•lu, a "farm-to-spoon" ice cream shop on Bristol's Main Street — just three miles down the road from Mary's.

  • Brent Harrewyn

To Laura and Martha, Lu•lu is not a name but a noun. Merriam-Webster defines the word as something "that is remarkable or wonderful," as in "a lulu of a performance." It's a fitting concept for the small-batch ice cream made here. Using their well-honed palates, Laura and Martha create a concert of flavors, from a sweetly floral vanilla bean to a boozy Old Fashioned studded with local Red Kite Candy toffee chunks and cherries soaked in Stonecutter Spirits whiskey.

Location Details Lu•lu
185 Main St.
Middlebury Area
Vergennes, VT
Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt

"Our brains work in different ways," mentions Laura as she scoops a lush globe of Salt Peanut into a sugar cone. "I love hard-hitting flavors like booze and bacon; Martha loves subtlety." A second ice cream cone is capped with two scoops: basil and a rich honey-lavender. "We're lucky to work together in that way," she finishes. "There's so much room for creativity."

  • Brent Harrewyn

The sisters' locavore focus means that the flavors, written daily on a scroll of butcher paper, are always changing. Ingredients are sourced from area farms and artisans: milk from Monument Farms Dairy, for example, and eggs from the hens at Mary's. And at Lu•lu, the performance doesn't end with a batch of churned cream. Add-ins are homemade as well, from the lemon-poppy-seed cake in the Orange Blossom ice cream to the chopped chocolate wafers in the Cookies + Cream. Bristol-based Savouré sodas are on tap for floats, as is cold-brew coffee sweetened with coffee simple syrup. Even the rainbow sprinkles are colored with fruit juice.

There's just one ice cream flavor the Mack sisters don't make themselves: the Slumdog Millionaire. "It's curried peanut-butter ice cream," Laura explains. "That one is Dad's."

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2017.

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