Eat and play

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 13:26
New business offers desserts, pizza and much more
Emily Earley, owner of The Ice Cream Social, hands a cool treat to a customer Saturday, July 14. The ice cream is non-fat, gluten free and lactose free.

Seeking a low calorie frozen treat?

The Ice Cream Social has you covered.

The new Eagle River business located at 11823 Old Glenn Highway offers non-fat, gluten-free, lactose-free ice cream as well as Dole pineapple sorbet.

The menu isn’t limited to desserts.

The entire Pizza Man menu is also available thanks to a contract with the popular local pizza place.

The Ice Cream Social also offers an 850-square-foot “playland” complete with tents, books, blocks and other toys for children.

“It’s an all-inclusive family fun place,” said owner Emily Earley.

The playland has several themes, which will continually change, Earley said. Last week, a medieval theme was on display. Others include a country village, dinosaur safari, under the sea and Star Wars, Earley said.

When it’s not being used for special events, Earley holds classes in the additional 650-square-foot room. Currently, she’s teaching 30 classes a week.

Earley offers several family classes, including ballet, creative dance, kung fu, tumbling, musical ABC’s and an introductory class that combines yoga, massage and healthy living.

Family classes are free for parents, however, it’s mandatory parents participate. Involving parents helps children learn faster during class, Earley said. Parents can also ensure their children are practicing the skills they’ve learned at home, she said.

“I want them to learn what their kids are doing,” Earley said.

For adults, Earley offers evening classes in yoga, Zumba and belly dancing. For more information or to sign up, contact Earley at 907-854-5553.

Born in Alaska, Earley worked as a physical therapist for 16 years, splitting her time between Alaska and Hawaii. But being diagnosed with cancer three years ago forced Earley to move home for treatment.

It also got Earley thinking about a less physically demanding career.

Earley said she’s always wanted to open an ice cream shop — she’s just pursuing that dream sooner than expected.

By offering gluten-free desserts, Earley said she hopes she can fill that niche for Eagle River residents.

“It’s nice to have something different,” she said.

Though low on calories, the ice cream — which is also kosher and halal — isn’t lacking flavor, Earley said.

The benefit of Earley’s business isn’t limited to customers’ waistlines. She’s also doing her part to live environmentally friendly.

All of the cups, lids, straws and pastry spoons are made of corn and are 100 percent biodegradable, Earley said.

“If you stick them in the ground, they’ll turn into dirt in 90 days,” she said.

Despite the long hours that inevitably come with starting a new business, Earley said she’s enjoyed building The Ice Cream Social from the ground up.

And the busier the better, Earley said.

“It’s a lot of fun when a lot of people are here,” she said. “You want [to do] something you’re going to enjoy.”


Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or [email protected]

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