If the cruel temptations of the Play-Doh Fun Factory taught the world anything, it's that mouthwatering creations are more gratifying when they're actually edible. Swoop spoon-first into a scoop of icy eats with today's Groupon: for $8, you get a punch card good for five regular-size ice-cream cones at Serendipity Ice Cream in McMinnville (a $16.25 value).
Located in the historic Cook Hotel, Serendipity Ice Cream serves up fresh, locally made frozen treats in a retro-style shop renovated to resemble its turn-of-the-century ice-cream-parlor precursors. A card for five regular-size cones lets quarreling barbershop quintets take a break from deciding which member to cut by offering some 24 classic and seasonal flavors to sample. Patrons can also visit Serendipity over separate visits to try different combinations of delectable cones.
Serendipity was created by Mid-Valley Rehabilitation to provide employment experience for individuals with disabilities, and its friendly, efficient staff and turn-of-the-century vibe hearken back to a time when eating ice cream, along with watching baseball and waxing friends’ mustaches, was rightfully regarded as a national pastime.
Serendipity Ice Cream
Though architectural flourishes once called attention to their Gilded Age opulence, these days the entrance and lobby of the historic Cook’s Hotel bear the egalitarian trappings of a turn-of-the-century ice-cream parlor. These welcoming sights are just one part of Serendipity Ice Cream’s core mission. Operating as a division of Mid-Valley Rehabilitation—a nonprofit dedicated to providing employment, residential, and transportation services to adults with disabilities—the parlor gives the center’s clients the chance to get real-world work experience and independence. Here, staffers scoop 24 classic and seasonal flavors of Oregon-made ice cream into handmade waffle cones, sundaes, floats, shakes, and banana splits. Sugar-free ice cream and dairy-free sorbets attend to special diets alongside treats such as soups and made-from-scratch cookies baked fresh daily. In addition to the sky-high cones and friendly service, old-fashioned candy, glass-bottled retro sodas, and teenagers who settle their differences by dancing add to the parlor’s period feel.