Mantua – There’s a new ice cream shop in town, just in time for warm weather to get folks hiking or biking along the Headwaters Trail in Mantua. The Chilling Station, owned by brothers John and Phil Rath, who also own Compass Packaging, decided to revert an unused building at their facility back to its former life — at least — sort of. You see, the name of the shop is derived from the building’s former use, when the previous tenant, Eaton Corporation, used the building on the Cuyahoga River as a ‘chilling station’ for their plastics extrusion line. When the Rath brothers decided to open an ice cream shop in that spot, the name was a natural choice.
Another natural choice, it seems, is the choice to serve Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, which is made in Michigan. That company, which was also founded by two brothers, creates creamy, old-fashioned ice cream with high butterfat content, and no fillers that would fill the gap between grocery store brands and super premium ice cream. At the Chilling Station in Mantua, you’ll find traditional flavors like vanilla, strawberry and mint chocolate chip. But you’ll also find a variety of as uncommon favorites like Michigan Pothole, a chocolate-lovers dream, and the current flavor of the month, Anniversary Cake, which is flavored like yellow cake batter, with cake bites and colorful frosting swirls mixed in.
We wanted to bring in quality products that aren’t available in town, explained John Rath, one of the shop’s co-owners. The Chilling Station had a soft grand opening on St. Patrick’s Day, where they relied solely on Facebook buzz and old fashioned banners to drive foot traffic. “We were pretty pleased with the turn-out,” Mr. Rath beamed. In addition to high-quality products, the shop boasts a fabulous view from from their outdoor deck overlooking the river.
The Chilling Station also serves Boylan Bottling Company gourmet sodas, which are sweetened with cane sugar instead of the high fructose corn syrup used by many soda producers. They feature orange, root beer, grape, black cherry, crème soda, and birch beer. In addition, they also serve Deep River Bakery Chips, with eight flavors to choose from, including unusual options like spicy dill pickle and cheddar horseradish. As an added bonus, each flavor sold by the Connecticut-based company supports a different charity, including the American Liver Foundation and Autism Speaks.
Recent guest Patrick shared, “It’s a great place to get a scoop or two of ice cream! Right on the river, the deck provides a great view of the winding Cuyahoga River through downtown Mantua. I can’t wait to get back there!” Stop by Mantua’s newest shop this weekend to get the scoop…or maybe several scoops.
For now, the Chilling Station is open from 4 – 9 on weekends, but hours will increase as baseball season begins and the weather improves. For the latest hours and information, visit the Chilling Station page on Facebook.