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Audio Postcard: The Sweetest Summer Tradition — Inside A Vermont Creemee Stand

A photo of a white house with a red tinted roof behind a green sign with a maple leaf that reads "Palmer Lane Maple" with a cut-out of an ice cream cone next to it.
Marlon Hyde
Outside the front of Palmer Lane Maple is a sign letting people know where to find a real Vermont maple creemee.

Inside Palmer Lane Maple, a small, white, old parsonage in Jericho, maple products decorate the walls from sweets to hot sauces. This candy store in northern Vermont is also a local legend for their maple creemees.

A creemee — for those outside of the Green Mountain State — is called soft serve ice-cream elsewhere.

A standard maple creemee sits in the cone with a gold-like tint from the fresh maple syrup. Every cone comes out perfectly swirled — a mountain of dairy goodness protruding gracefully into the air.

What gives the creemee its novel consistency is the additional air is forced into the mixture when it’s frozen. Palmer Lane uses a custom mix from Kingdom Creamery of Vermont.

The perfect creemee consists of a few ingredients including liquid cream, condensed milk, pure cane sugar and a stabilizing agent. At Palmer Lane, maple syrup that owner Paul Palmer spends his spring collecting is added to the mixture.

A family of two parents and five children stand in front of rainbow colored chairs outside of Palmer Lane Maple.
Marlon Hyde
The Hansen family smiles in front of rainbow colored chairs outside of Palmer Lane Maple on a Friday afternoon.

On a recent sunny Friday afternoon, Hannah Hansen, her husband and their five children sat outside of the shop in a colorful Adirondack chair, enjoying their creemees.

“The maple cone that I had with the maple sprinkles — kind of exploded in my mouth a little bit,” she said. “Just lots of flavor, was very creamy, of course, which is appropriate for its name.”

Hansen said her kids could not contain their excitement when they found out they were coming to Palmer Lane.

That included her son, Judah.

“It's cold, it’s good, and it's bad,” he said.

Bad because they can be messy. His mom reached over and wiped the rest of his creemee off of his face.

More from Brave Little State: Vermont’s Maple Creemee Season Appears Immune To Pandemic

One of the biggest summer traditions in Vermont is to have a creemee.

“I live in Florida. So every time I come home, I come here,” said Sammy King, who grew up in South Burlington and now attends college down South.

She said she's been coming here since she was a child, so a creemee has become part of her welcome-back-to-Vermont routine.

A girl wearing a gray shirt  prepares to deliver multiple maple creemees and a doggie bowl as another woman in blue passes behind her.
Marlon Hyde
Eva Dixon, 15, prepares to deliver multiple maple creemees and a doggie bowl to waiting customers. Colleen Palmer walks over to begin making another creemee.

When Palmer Lane Maple first opened in November of 2012, the store was focused on selling maple products. It wasn't until the Jericho community started demanding creemees that husband and wife duo Paul and Colleen Palmer took interest.

“By March [of 2013], which is Maple Open House weekend, we started doing creemees,” Colleen said. “And we never looked back.”

Today, in addition to maple, Palmer Lane offers a variety of flavors including strawberry, black cherry, vanilla, and chocolate.

And of course sprinkles — maple sprinkles to be exact.

Paul said it feels special to be in the candy and ice cream business.

“It's just a blast to see the kids come in and ordering their own ice cream, you know, it's something easy for them to do,” he said.

In Vermont, a creemee is more than just ice cream. It’s how Vermonters connect with summer childhood memories. As the fall draws closer, and families send their children off to school, people are lining up for a last taste.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch with reporter Marlon Hyde @HydeMarlon.

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