A nice cream stop

If you think Ben & Jerry's invented hippie ice cream, think again. Lawyer turned free spirit Robert Rock started scooping three years earlier in a Coolidge Corner basement to feed the after-hours appetites of Brookline's rock 'n roll finest. In a city bound by blue laws, sweet cream and acoustic guitar were the only groovy activities allowed after midnight.

What started as a rocker hangout quickly became a phenomenon. Upon request, Rock dubbed the shop Emack & Bolio's after two homeless clients for whom he did pro-bono work. He bought a commercial ice cream machine and started churning out legendary flavors like grasshopper pie and purple cow, and before long was opening up a posh-boutique style shop on Newbury Street.

Thirty years later, the homemade ice cream is sold in stores all over the state. Rock still hasn't revealed any of his secrets, though he will admit to strictly adhering to the use of only the highest quality extracts and ingredients complemented by a dash of rock and roll.

Here in Wellfleet, we're lucky enough to have not only A Nice Cream Stop selling Emack & Bolio's downtown on Main Street (508.349.2210), but even our own unique flavor: Wellfleet Mix. The sweet vanilla based cream is packed with caramel, nuts, toffee, cookie pieces, and chocolate chips, and is almost eclectic enough to do us justice.

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All text, photographs, and other original material copyright 2008-2010 by Elspeth Hay unless otherwise noted.