Meet Laura, the proud owner of Banter Ice Cream. Alongside her husband, Zach, they’ve crafted a space dedicated to relishing delightful, imaginative, and unforgettable ice cream, all the while fostering a sense of community. Banter Ice Cream has earned its reputation as a beloved spot for families and friends to gather, an ideal treat after a long day’s work, and a cherished place for first dates.
Here, you’ll discover carefully crafted, creamy, chilled treats in a variety of flavours. The homemade waffle cones, a distinctive feature (and the first delightful scent upon entering,) are a particular point of fame. With recipes made in-house, the experience is bound to leave you craving more. Whether you’re seated in the cozy space, strolling along the Vedder Trail, or taking a pint home, Banter Ice Cream has become a household name.
Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Laura and delve into the beginnings of Banter Ice Cream, their sources of inspiration, and the creative processes that define their business.
1. Introduce yourself! Tell us a bit about you.
“Hey, I’m Laura and I own Banter Ice Cream with my husband Zach. We moved from Abbotsford to Chilliwack 2 years ago and we’ve never looked back. We love living near the river and the mountains and spend as much outside as we can.“
2. Could you share the story behind Banter and what inspired you to start the business?
“My husband and I were inspired on a trip to Salt Spring Island where we tasted a cone of salted caramel ice cream at a local farmer’s market. After that lick, we were hooked! We started driving out to find craft ice cream in nearby cities, and then realized that there was nothing comparable in the Fraser Valley, and that maybe we could be the ones to make it happen.”
3. You have new flavours every month, tell us a bit about that! How do you come up with such unique flavours?
“Ice cream feels like a blank slate with endless flavour combinations, so we always have a running list of potential flavours on the go. We try to use as many seasonal ingredients as possible from local farmers whenever we can.”
4. For someone who has never been to your shop, describe what they can expect when they walk through the doors.
“Expect to be hit with the smell of homemade waffle cones right when you step through the doors. Our staff are ice cream ‘experts’ and can tell you all about the flavours and ingredients; but to take it one step further, we welcome you to try a sample before committing to a scoop or a pint.“
5. Can you tell us about any signature flavours that have become customer favourites?
“Our top flavours are Marble Malt Cookie Dough and Lemon Curd. Cookie dough is the perfect comfort scoop with a marbled chocolate/vanilla base and chunks of homemade cookie dough – we elevated this classic flavour by using malt in the base which gives it a deeper, richer flavour. Lemon curd is a fan favourite and tastes a lot like a lemon meringue pie – it’s not too tart, not too sweet with a light lemon base and ribbons of my mom’s homemade lemon curd swirled throughout.“
6. If you could only have one flavour of ice cream for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“Scout Mint Cookie.”
7. Ice Cream or Sorbet?
“Ice Cream – give me that creamy goodness!“
8. Can you tell us a bit about your life outside of Banter?
“I love to mountain bike, rock climb and spend time with my family. My husband (Zach) and I have a toddler and are expecting a baby in March.”
9. What are some of your favourite local spots in Chilliwack?
“My go-to spots are Coconut Thai (great for take-out), Land Cafe (coffee + lunch,) and Project Climb (social evening workout.)”
10. What is it that makes Banter different from your average ice cream shop?
“Everything is made in house! From our waffle cones to our caramel sauce and our brownie chunks. You can really taste the difference in the quality.“
11. When testing ice cream flavours, there are sure to be some big misses amongst all the yumminess. What is one you thought would be amazing but turned out to be a dud?
“Most definitely! We’ve had a lot of vegan flavours not turn out… like vegan Earl Grey, vegan pumpkin spice, and so many more. It’s so much harder to nail the flavour and texture when you’re working with nut milks.“
12. If the cafe/studio was a celebrity, what celebrity would it be?
“Probably a double scoop of Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.”
13. Describe your perfect day in Chilliwack.
“Coffee and a savoury scone at Land Cafe, mountain biking with friends up Vedder Mountain. Top it off with a BBQ at the Vedder River with friends.“
14. Looking ahead, do you have any plans for expansion, new offerings, or innovations at Banter? Anything exciting that you would like to share?
‘We’ve gone through a lot of growth in the past 3 years, so we don’t have anything big planned for this upcoming season. That said, every month, we make 4 new ice cream flavours, and next year we plan on being a part of more events.”
Visit them in-store: Monday – Thursday 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Friday 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Saturday 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, and Sunday 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm.
Location: 45530 Vedder Mountain Road
Visit them online: www.bantericecream.com
Follow them on Instagram: @bantericecream