The Hop Ice Cream Cafe
Premium quality Ice Cream homemade with love in Asheville, NC since 1978. Dairy, Vegan, Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Local Goat Milk Ice Cream & Sorbet Flavors. Milkshakes, sundaes, smoothies & desserts. Locally-roasted organic fair-trade Coffee & Espresso. Free weekly family-friendly entertainment. Free Wireless Internet.
Established in Asheville, NC in 1978, The Hop was housed in an old service station on Merrimon Avenue's "Woolsey Dip" and first sold Ice Cream from Biltmore Dairy. In the late 80s the owners then decided to shift their attention to making homemade ice cream and that tradition has been carried on. In July of 2007, The Hop was relocated a block North of its original location to the Merrimon Square Shopping Center to meet a growing demand.
Then in August of 2008, Ashley and Greg Garrison, after a 5 year tenure as employees, took over The Hop in its new location (becoming the 5th owners). Ashley, as the culinary expert, began creating many unique and delightful All-Natural Ice Cream flavors, often collaborating with other local farms or businesses. These also included from-scratch Vegan, Gluten Free & Sugar Free Ice Creams, fresh-fruit Sorbets and even Local Goat Milk flavors.
In addition to improving The Hop's Ice Cream, Greg and Ashley worked together to create a place where anyone and everyone could feel warm and welcome while enjoying their homemade frozen treats. They began hosting weekly free family-friendly events , including live music, magicians, jugglers, plays, fundraisers and more to support and promote the various performers and organizations in this budding Asheville community.
Then during the summer of 2010, an opportunity to expand into a second location presented itself to the Garrisons. That October, The Hop West, smack dab in the middle of the Haywood Road corridor in West Asheville, was officially open for business. This addition to such a thriving and vibrant local business community has proven to be a wonderful fit and offers the same warm and welcoming vibe as on Merrimon.
To this day, Greg and Ashley, and all of The Hop's employees continue their work to make delicious Ice Cream, bring people together, spread the Asheville love and just flat out have fun!