Tofts Ice Cream Parlor, Ohio’s Oldest Dairy

After our enjoyable afternoon at Lakeside, we stopped by Tofts Ice Cream Parlor in Sandusky before heading home.  Ohio Magazine recently had an article called, “25 Classic Ohio Ice Cream Shops and Stands.”  If you are one of those people who think ice cream is a summer thing, you can just stop reading now.  Fortunately, my parents are up for ice cream in any season.  When we got back to Ohio, we decided to check out some of these shops that are open year-round.

We have already hit a few of the places in the article.  I wrote about Youngs Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs previously.  I also wrote about Ye Olde Mill in Utica, which is the Velvet Ice Cream shop.  Another ice cream shop we tried is Dietsch Brothers in Findlay.  So, out of the nine shops listed, we had already tried three.

Tofts Ice Cream Parlor in Sandusky was conveniently on our way home from Lakeside.  It was a blustery, cool day but there were still lots of people at the shop.  The shop has the usual display of ice cream and an extensive ice cream menu.  Instead of tables, there is a line of chairs along one wall.  After we got our ice cream and sat down, all the chairs were full.

A rare lull in the line

The hardest thing for me to decide at a new ice cream place is what flavors to try.  Tofts  has 50 different flavors on any given day, although some of the flavors change seasonally.  Mom and Dad love Tofts Moose Tracks, so they both got that.  Tom got vanilla – boring!  But I like to try new flavors.  So I ordered a scoop of Black Raspberry Chocolate Chunk and a scoop of Brownie Bandit.  All of us ordered small cups, thinking that would be the right size.  If you want two different flavors, you have to get at least a small.

Black Raspberry Chocolate Chunk and Brownie Bandit

The servings were huge!  Closer to four scoops of ice cream in a small instead of the expected two.  Dad finished all of his, but the rest of us couldn’t eat all of ours.  I hated to leave any ice cream in my cup, but I just couldn’t finish it.  Both flavors were delicious.  Brownie Bandit had chocolate ice cream with swirls of fudge and pieces of brownie.  So good.  Usually I don’t like that much chocolate all together but I’ll make an exception for Brownie Bandit.

Mom and Dad enjoying their Moose Tracks

We enjoyed people watching while we ate our ice cream.  I am amazed at the little kids who always choose Cookie Monster ice cream.  The ice cream is vanilla with lots of blue food coloring – the bluer the better – and pieces of cookie.  I find the color off-putting but kids love it.  We also also several people ordering banana splits or large sundaes.  Ugh!  I love ice cream, but thinking about that much of it makes my stomach hurt.

Tofts Dairy was founded in 1900, which makes it the oldest dairy in Ohio.  The Tofts Ice Cream Parlor opened in 1940, although it has changed locations a couple of times since then.  Milk is delivered to the plant in Sandusky 365 days a year from 13 local farms, all of which are within a 50-mile radius. Contracting with local farmers allows Tofts to use the freshest quality of milk to make all their delicious products.  They only distribute their products within 100 miles of the plant to ensure that the products are sold fresh.

We all enjoyed our visit to Tofts Ice Cream Parlor and I have a feeling we will go there again.  Next time I will either have to go hungrier or limit myself to just one flavor with the Junior size.  Just one flavor when there are 50 to try?  Impossible!