person holding ice cream

Cream of the Crop: Canada’s top small-batch ice cream makers

The ice cream flavour game is changing thanks to boutique ice creameries across the country.

Black sesame with chow mein. Oatmeal brown sugar. Honey apricot lavender. This is the new look of artisanal ice cream menus across the country. 

Canada ranks sixth in the world for ice cream consumption, with the average Canadian consuming 10.6 litres annually—that’s roughly 170 scoops a year. A recent survey from global market-research firm Mintel found that for 40 percent of Canadians, flavour is the number one reason they indulge.

Thanks to boutique ice creameries across the country, pints are now inspired by both local ingredients and those from around the world and designed by top culinary talent. Made by Marcus, which has locations in Edmonton and Calgary, is the creation of Marcus Purtzki, who studied nutrition and food science at the University of British Columbia and spent time in a Michelin-starred kitchen in New York City. Among his oldest original ice cream recipes is raspberry rose lychee; his newest ones include lemon saffron coconut sorbet. 

In Vancouver, Earnest Ice Cream serves up flavours like chewy pretzel blondie and cardamom. Launched by friends Erica Bernardi and Ben Ernst, the small chain of shops is now focusing its innovative energies on plant-based offerings, like vegan peppermint fudge brownie and vegan peanut butter chocolate pretzel.

And in Edmonton, Yelo’d is serving ice cream cakes, sandwiches (a favourite is the cherry chip between two slices of red velvet cake) and pies as well as cones full of flavours informed by Asian ingredients and the heritage of owners Jason and Ailynn Wong. (“Yelo’d” is a play on the Filipino word yelo, which means “ice.”) Their mission is to share unique flavours, and they deliver with a menu that includes ube cheesecake, which is made with fresh purple yams, and Filipino rocky road, which is made with malted milk chocolate ice cream, ube marshmallows, mini chocolate chips and glazed cashews.

Photo: Nelson Mouellic.

Earnest Ice Cream

“Earnest Ice Cream was born from a friendship, a shared love of local food (and ice cream!), and a desire to do business differently. Since we launched in 2012, our goal has been to create ice cream that expresses our passions for flavour and creativity and to run a business that embodies our values.

What started out as two friends, Erica and Ben, with an ice cream tricycle at the Vancouver Farmers Markets has now grown into four scoop shops, an ice cream truck, retailers around Metro Vancouver and an amazing team of hardworking humans. It is more than we dreamed of when we scooped our first cone, and we continue to be immensely grateful to all the people who have made this possible.”


Yelo’d Ice Cream

With ice cream as our dais, our mission is to share unique flavours, bring nostalgia and create new memories & experiences that we hope bring us together as a community.

Yelo’d (n): A Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning ice. Add the “d” and you get a play on a verb, iced. Ice for the ice cream, and iced for the iced cakes and sweets offered at Yelo’d.

Our best selling item is called Champorado, our OG Sundae. It’s a traditional warm semi-sweet chocolate rice pudding, topped with our signature ube soft serve.



Made by Marcus

Our ice cream is built from scratch with dairy from grass-fed cows and real ingredients produced by farmers, roasters, distillers and artisans we know and trust. Our kitchen creates small batches of some of the wildest flavour combinations that people line up for…

You can experience our creations in our meticulously designed scoop shops in Calgary and Edmonton, or have it delivered right to your door with our own next-day-delivery service. We are committed to continuously improving our delicious products and experiences so that you, the customer, can always look forward to something new and exciting! Our hope is that you indulge in the best ice cream you’ve ever tasted.
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