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Sustainable Table: Red Wagon Creamery

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EUGENE, Ore. — Blackberry black pepper cardamom, buttermilk brown sugar strawberry–they’re combinations you might not think about, especially for ice cream. But a local couple is mixing up some unique flavors, using local ingredients, for your sustainable table.

“I’ve been a chef for 14 years and was tired of working for other people; I wanted to work for myself,” said Emily Phillips, Red Wagon Creamery Co-Owner.

So Amy and her husband Stuart decided to start Red Wagon Creamery. The idea was it wouldn’t cost as much as some other ventures.

“It turned out to be the least amount of money and the most amount of work,” Phillips said.

That’s because while the Phillips’ spend most afternoons and evenings scooping up flavors like brown butter bourbon pecan and smoked salt caramel, they shutter the cart at night and head into the kitchen at Food for Lane County. That is where they craft their concoctions.

“I like to play with things that people wouldn’t normally think of as ice cream flavors,” Phillips said.

For example, there’s her batch of “Hearts of Chocolate”. It sounds simple enough, but other flavors include sweet potato cumin and sweet corn with honey butter. Those ingredients come from local farms.

“We use SLO Farm a lot, Groundworks, Hayhurst Farm. We try to get as many things locally as possible,” Phillips said.

And the most important ingredient? That’s local too.

“Most people who say they make homemade ice cream are buying a base mix, which is milk, sugar, cream and eggs mixed together. They just add flavors to it. But we buy just milk and cream from Lockmead, then we use organic sugar. We make each individual flavor from scratch,” Phillips said.

It is a lot of work.

“It’s scooping all day and churning all night kind of situation for us right now,” Phillips said.

But the Phillips’ know their customers appreciate every scoop.

“Supporting us also supports other small businesses since we buy so many of our ingredients from local barns and small companies,” Phillips said.

If you want to catch up with Red Wagon Creamery, check out its Facebook page.

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