Cold Stone Creamery burst upon the New Jersey scene about five years ago, and Somerset County shops in Warren and Bedminster are helping to spread the company's reputation.
Famous for their original flavors—like Chocolate Cake Batter Ice Cream—Cold Stone is earning raves by focusing on quality and taste, perhaps over variety.
The Warren Cold Stone Creamery is located at 55 Mountain Blvd., nearly directly across from the township municipal complex, and is open from noon to 10 p.m. daily, year-round.
A location at 428B Route 202-206 in Bedminster, in the same Hills shopping center as Kings, offers the same menu and services.
You won't find an endless variety of flavors at the Cold Stone Creamery — really only a dozen or so are presented — but you will find great treats.
Warren Manager Abby Bush notes that all of the ice cream is made fresh daily in the store, and that most of the flavors begin as special treats for a month. If they prove popular, they're added to the regular menu—this month's "Gold Cone" flavor, as they're called, is Mojito Sorbet.
Don't venture into a Cold Stone Creamery when they're making their famous waffle cones—each waffle is cooked fresh, dipped in chocolate and set out to tempt. The aroma of the waffles was mouth-watering and powerful—if they ever go into the breakfast business, watch out!
"We always offer a variety of 'sinless' flavors, which are made with Splenda," Bush said.
The "sinless" options extend to the shakes and smoothies, too—I tried a "sinless" blueberry-pineapple smoothie, which was rich tasting—very sweet, thanks to the pineapple, but without the usual fake sugar aftertaste—and very cold (perfect!).
You can add vitamin or protein boosts to your smoothies, too.
Sorbets, yogurt, ice cream treats all round out the selection.
"We do everything from wedding cakes to petit cakes," Bush said, adding the Warren shop caters to the area and is involved in many community projects.