Moo-vin' on: Kirt's Ice Cream makes it local

Kirt and Ivy Gray used to own the Maggie Moo's ice cream and treatery franchise in the Hollymead Town Center, but they got tired of the corporate ball and chain attached to their creativity. So they lit out on their own, opening Kirt's Ice Cream in the Albemarle Square Shopping Center over the summer.

"We wanted to be able to use local ingredients, but the franchise wouldn't let us," says Ivy Gray, working the counter while her husband was away visiting family. "Things like using local peaches or strawberries to make ice cream."

For instance, Carpe Donut owner Matt Rhodie now makes ice cream sandwiches with the Grays' ice cream, made in-house every week, and soon you'll be able to get them at Whole Foods. Kirt's also offers a selection of ice cream cakes, catering options, and bags of Blue Ridge Kettle Korn for sale. These were alliances they weren't allowed to have at Maggie Moo's.

As for the current frozen yogurt craze (Sweet Frog actually took over the old Maggie Moo's space), Ivy says that her husband believes it's a fad that will die down. As she points out, their all-natural, homemade ice cream is just as healthy as most frozen yogurt, and once you pile on all the toppings, she says Kirt's actually offers more for less money. As for richness and taste, the Grays say there is no comparison.

"Our ice cream is so rich," says Ivy. "You don't need much of it."

Ideally, the Grays hope that offering their own homemade ice cream, and making a lot of local connections with other producers and vendors will build Kirt's Ice Cream into the fabric of the community.

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I'm so glad to see a new ice cream place opening instead of more tasteless frozen yogurt. I was bummed when Maggie Moo's closed. Best of luck to the Grays. I'll have to stop by soon!

Frozen yogurt is okay, but it'll never replace real ice cream. Much less homemade ice cream.

I went to CHS with Kirt many years ago. One of the nicest guys I knew, and I wish him and Ivy all the best of luck!

Wonderful ice cream!!

I love this place - great atmosphere and wonderful HOMEMADE ice cream!

Great place and great ice cream! We go there a lot. They now have coffee/espresso. Also on Tuesdays, it's a dollar off! Support local/not chains!

sounds like Mrs. Gray is being nice. they may have gotten tired of the 'corporate ball and chain' but I believe their landlords @ Hollymead Town Center ran them out so the Sweet Frog's fro-yo could replace them. I'm glad to see The Hook giving the Grays some spotlight!