New ice cream shop sources locally

Owner incoporates area honey, rum, edible flowers, hopes space can be a break from stress of reality



Owner Jason Dillon said his space for Panhandle Cone and Coffee is under construction, but the shop will open in early March.

CHLOE GRUNDMEIER, Evergreen reporter

Jason Dillon and his family hope to spread love and a sense of normalcy to those who need it by expanding their ice cream shop, Panhandle Cone and Coffee, to Moscow by the first week of March.

“It’s just ice cream but at the same time it’s this place that people can come together and forget about all the crap in the world,” Dillon said.

Dillon and his family relocated from Grants Pass, Oregon to Sandpoint, Idaho to start Panhandle Cone and Coffee in 2015. Dillon grew up with ice cream as a staple in his home. When his sister gave him an ice cream cookbook as a gift, he began researching the sweet treat, he said.

“Penn State University has a famous ice cream school and I didn’t go out there to the school, but I found out what textbook they use, and I read it,” Dillon said. “And like any good researcher I spent a lot of time on YouTube and Google. I just tried to figure out the ins and outs of ice cream.”

The Dillons met and fell in love with Moscow when their children started to attend University of Idaho. Dillon said the authentic and sincere feel of the downtown area fit perfectly with the ideals of Panhandle Cone and Coffee.

At Panhandle Cone and Coffee, most of the ingredients are locally sourced, Dillon said. Their unique flavors require many ingredients that Dillon said he finds close to both the original Sandpoint store and the Moscow store.

For example, their vanilla extract is made with north Idaho rum and their honey and rose ice cream is made with untreated, edible flower petals from a local florist.

At the Moscow store, Dillon intends to work with Paradise Creek Brewery to create a beer ice cream. He said a previous version with brownies and salted caramel became popular at the Sandpoint store.

“You’re not gonna go down to Winco and pick up a half gallon of honey and rose ice cream that was handcrafted that contains local honey and flower petals,” Dillon said. “We don’t just throw darts at a board to pick our ice cream flavors. We try to have two or three straightforward flavors and two or three really creative flavors and everything else is in between.”

Panhandle Cone and Coffee will serve 10 year-round flavors, four seasonal flavors, four dairy-free ice creams and coffee from Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters and Kamiak Coffee Company. They will open during the first week of March next to Palouse Juice on Main Street in Moscow, serving their Spring flavors. Their hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“We like to consider ourselves a sanctuary with an agenda to just love people,” Dillon said. “We train our staff that every person that comes through the door has a story and they matter. It’s not just about $3.95 and a five-and-a-half-ounce scoop of ice cream. It’s about helping them enjoy their day.”