Neighborhood Eats: The Hop

The Hop Ice Cream Cafe in Asheville, North Carolina. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

To celebrate the beginning of spring, Neighborhood Eats stopped by The Hop in North Asheville to sweeten things up a bit.

The Merrimon Avenue location just wrapped up a major renovation, and their new family-friendly space is a perfect pairing for their unique ice cream flavors.

"They've got a lot of really creative flavors. They change the flavors up all the time," customer Susan Enwright Hicks said of The Hop's offerings.

Tucked into their bevy of options are all sorts of flavors. Alongside classic chocolate and vanilla are flavors like 12 Bones blueberry chipotle or chocolate Irish bacon.

"You know, on the menu right now we have a Lusty Monk Mustard," employee Ashley Garrison said. "People are disgusted by that, but it's one of our bestsellers."

The Hop often collaborates with other local businesses to create one-of-a-kind flavors.

"We've done a Cold Mountain ice cream with a hazelnut fudge swirl with Highland Brewing," owner Greg Garrison said.

The Hop has been under Greg and Ashley Garrison's ownership for the last 10 years. The pair just wrapped up renovations to their Merrimon Avenue shop earlier this year.

"One of the things we were constantly thinking about it that we wanted the space to match the quality of the ice cream," Greg said.

The renovations make more room for the family-friendly, free performances The Hop hosts several times a month.

"It's funny. It feels like it's 2/3 more space somehow, and obviously the colors are bright and cheerful, and the kids space is even nicer than it was before," Enwright Hicks observed of the makeover.

The Hop has two locations in Asheville: One in West Asheville at 721 Haywood Road and one in North Asheville at 640 Merrimon Avenue. Visit thehopicecreamcafe.com for pricing.

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