By Sara Chiaravalloti
As the end of summer approaches, we begin to swap our bathing suits for comfy sweaters, frozen margaritas for warm cider, and ice cream for pie. Actually, scratch that last one. Ice cream is a year-round treat! Lucky for us Philadelphians, we have been blessed with some of the best ice cream shops that are always open, no matter the season. Now, we’re even luckier since Philly’s Milk Jawn has opened a scoop shop at 1439 E. Passyunk Ave.
This hobby-turned-business finds itself as one of the newest brick-and-mortars in Passyunk Square, and it is definitely filling a gap. I had the chance to speak to general manager, Joanna Jaeger, who told me about their warm welcome to the neighborhood. “We have been super busy and have been really lucky to have a line out the door most nights. Everyone is excited to have us and we are really excited to be here,” Joanna exclaimed.
It seems that Milk Jawn has customers that can’t get enough, and I don’t blame them! Joanna continued, “We are lucky to have a lot of repeat customers and even ones that come in practically every day since we opened at the beginning of August. There are even people who come in saying they were buying this ice cream from when it was only being delivered.”
Amy Wilson, owner, or ice cream scientist if you will, was gifted an ice cream machine for Christmas one year and it seems she never stopped using it (I don’t think most of us can say the same about Christmas gifts). Amy made ice cream at home for over 10 years, then, about three years ago, she and business partners Ryan Miller and Cathryn Sanderson began the Milk Jawn venture together. The company began at the start of the pandemic when they were making deliveries and doing pop-ups which definitely helped during such a depressing time.
Since then, this locally-made premium ice cream has been sold at farmers’ markets and in stores like Hermans Coffee, Riverwards, Stone’s Beer and Beverage Market, and some coffee shops that use the ice cream to make affogatos. The production facility, and where all the magic happens, is now located a few blocks from Passyunk Ave. and close to Milk Jawn’s new home.
When you walk into the store, you’ll see two huge boards on the wall in front of you full of flavors, including vegan options. Flavors range from familiar faves like Pistachio, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Double Fold Vanilla, and Milk & Cookies to flavorful adventures including Lemon Curd with Blueberry Basil Swirl, Buttermilk Peach, and Cha Yen—a Thai basil ice cream swirled with Thai iced tea-infused caramel.
Personally, there was no way I was not going to get a big cup of Tahini Fudge Swirl and Earl Grey with Honeycomb. Joanna told me that, “Earl grey is an award winning flavor! Last year we actually won best new flavor in the Northeast U.S., and second place nationally at the North American Ice Cream Association’s annual convention. We make our own honeycomb candy for it too.” No wonder I, and so many others, love it.
Both flavors that I tried were so spot on. The decadent fudge, and earthy flavor of tahini is so present in the Tahini Fudge Swirl while each crunch of the honeycomb candy dances effortlessly with the tastes of black tea and orange in the Earl Grey with Honeycomb. While I savored my cup of ice cream, customers around me were enjoying cones with Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp and Mint Stracciatella.
Whether you’re a fan of a cult-classic or seasonal flavor, Milk Jawn offers something for everyone. So, next time you are taking a stroll on East Passyunk Ave.—or visiting from outside the city—grab a cone. This shop is exactly why we scream for ice cream.