The new look storefront at Stella Jean's, with a new pick up window
We showed up to Stella Jean’s with a couple of kids in tow, having promised ice cream cones. But this was a month ago, and University Heights’ resident small batch ice cream shop wasn’t serving them. Instead, it was selling take-home pints, and wrapping its mad in-house waffle cones to go.
4404 Park Blvd, Ste B, San Diego
As pandemic disappointments go, this one was minor. We picked out a couple of flavors and headed home with our empty cones. The ice cream held its terrifically smooth texture on the ride home. The construction of my own amateurish double scoops the only noticeable loss in quality.
Before photo: Stella Jean's prior to the pick up window
Fast forward a few weeks and we’re in the middle of a heat wave. Upon my return to the shop’s Park Avenue storefront, it takes me a moment to notice that something has changed. Something so seamless I almost didn’t realize it. Where there used to be an ice cream cone-shaped sign reading Stella Jean’s, there’s now a take-out window.
The new window was installed last week, and is a dedicated pick-up window for those take-home pints and cones, which may be ordered online for those minimizing contact during the pandemic.
Two pints and take-away waffle cones, ready to scoop at home
It frees up the makeshift in-doorway counter Stella Jean’s had been using for pint service, which is now dedicated to serving ready-to-eat ice cream cones.
The makeshift doorway counter at Stella Jean's ice cream
With scoops back on the menu, a steady flow of ice cream faithful showed up to find such unique flavors as ube ice cream with pandesal toffee, and earl grey tea with tea cookie crumbles.
Two-scoop victory cones, ready to melt quickly in the August afternoon sun
Of course, the kids stuck with their old reliables: double chocolate, milk & cookies (a.k.a. cookies and cream), and s’mores, made with roasted marshmallows. They raised their professionally assembled, two-scoop cones to the sky, celebrating a minor pandemic victory.
However, I had to wonder. With the temperature approaching 90, Stella Jean’s silky textured ice cream started to melt by time we reached the street corner. As dripping cones and sticky hands approached my just-back-from-the-car-wash sedan, I started to wonder whether take-home pints might have been the wiser play after all....