Ice cream may make you happy, but be sure to eat sensibly, dietitian says

MARTINSBURG – You could say Pam Stock and her granddaughter, Kayla Jo Dodson, have worked side-by-side in Stock’s ice cream business almost since it opened 15 years ago.

Except, for the first few years, Kayla Jo, who’s now 12, spent much of that time perched in her “pumpkin seat” child carrier, Stock said.

“I’d sit her right up there on the counter beside me,” Stock said.

Stock owns Stock’s Dairy Delight, a store which sells hand-dipped ice cream, ice cream that is dispensed from a machine and also frozen yogurt. She gets the mixes for her frozen treats from Galliker’s Dairy, Johnstown, which buys milk from Fair Valley Farm, a dairy farm in Martinsburg Stock owns with her husband, Roger, that has been in his family for three generations, she said.

As Kayla Jo grew up, she began helping her grandmother dish up the eight flavors of hand-dipped ice cream that the store offers. A machine dispenses more ice cream that flows in a twisty combination of vanilla and strawberry cheesecake. Customers can get ice cream in dishes, cones, between cookies as an ice cream sandwich, or in the store’s version of an ice cream shake with add-ins or even in specialty ice cream cakes. Kayla Jo has been there to help through it all, Stock said.

“She’s been a hard worker for me, believe me,” she said.

Another machine dispenses soft-serve chocolate and vanilla ice cream while one last machine offers frozen yogurt that is available in different flavors, Stock said. The frozen yogurt is non-fat and has no sugar added, she said.

Stock’s daughter and Kayla Jo’s mom, Tracey Dodson, also worked with Stock and Kayla Jo dishing up ice cream and still helps with paperwork for the business that first opened in a trailer. Still in its original location on Route 164 just outside of Martinsburg, Stock said she always wanted to have an ice cream store but she had trouble finding a trailer for her business.

“People told me I’d never find one,” she said. “Every time I went out, I looked for one and couldn’t find one. Then I prayed to God about it and finally found one in Lancaster.”

Through the years business got so good, though, that Stock had to exchange the trailer for a larger building at the same site. The building doesn’t have places inside for people to eat but there are shaded picnic tables outside.

The store is open from 2 to 9:30 p.m. daily from mid-March until about the end of September, or whenever the weather starts to turn cool, Stock said.

The goal of Stock’s business has always been about making eating ice cream a happy time for everyone, she said.

“It’s a family thing,” she said. “I love my people and I love my customers.”

Althea Zanecosky, a registered dietitian with the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, said July is National?Ice?Cream Month and making sure eating ice cream is not only good tasting but good for your body is important.

She stressed that whether people choose full-fat or low-fat frozen treats, the key is portion size.

“If you prefer the full-fat version of ice cream, I recommend keeping close tabs on serving size,” Zanecosky said.

“For ice cream, about the size of a baseball. Whatever type you choose, sit down and savor the flavor and experience.”

Some people prefer frozen yogurt because it tends to be lower in fat but it can be high in sugar, so Zanecosky said consumers should check the labels. Frozen yogurt may also be lower in calories, too. She used the example of a serving of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, which is about one-half cup, and has three grams of fat compared to 13 grams of fat in the same amount of ice cream.

When it comes to calories, the Cherry Garcia comes out ahead, too, with 200 calories versus 240 for ice cream. But as for sugar, ice cream actually has less sugar than the Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt, with 23 grams of sugar, compared to 27 grams of sugar for the frozen yogurt, Zanecosky said.