Here’s the Scoop: the Changing Face of the Ice Cream Business on Bainbridge: More Choices, More Flavors!

In case you haven’t noticed, the island’s ice cream business scene is merging flavors and adding new ones as we enter the Dog Days of August. Will that be in a cup or Waffle cone?

Just recently Mora, the popular ice creamery located in cramped digs on Madrona Way in Downtown Winslow – behind those lime green umbrellas – was purchased by Island Cool Frozen Yogurt of Lynwood Center, which has re-named the iconic retailer, Island Cool Ice Cream.

Willy's Snack Shack at The Ravine, Island Cool Frozen Yogurt Lynwood Center, and Island Cool Ice Cream on Winslow Way
Willy’s Snack Shack at The Ravine, Island Cool Frozen Yogurt Lynwood Center, and Island Cool Ice Cream on Winslow Way

If you’re keeping score, Emma & Otto’s at The Ravine is gone, and has been replaced by Willy’s Snack Shack. And, in the still refurbishing Winslow Mall, a new pop-up ice cream spot has emerged: Violet’s Real Fruit Ice Cream.

Mora, founded by the Argentinian couple Jerry and Ana Perez in 2006, was famous for making ice cream the old-fashioned way, in small batches using fresh milk, cane sugar, ripe fruit and imported chocolate. Its website says, “Fans of our ‘old-world-style’ ice cream tell us there’s nothing like the rich and creamy taste of Mora.”

Over the years, Mora expanded its business locally to Kingston and Poulsbo, and opened outlets in other states, including franchisees. It served cups, cones, milkshakes, floats, frozen yogurt and parfaits, and it shipped its products all over the country from a warehouse in Poulsbo. Over time, it developed 70 flavors and was able to serve 48 on any given day.

Since 2018 Island Cool, owned by Chris and Melissa Jasperson, has offered a self-serve frozen yogurt bar at Pleasant Beach, adjacent to the Marketplace. Flavors come in nonfat, low-fat, dairy free and no-sugar-added varieties, with numerous toppings available. It offers outdoor seating in summer and a fireplace area for winter.

The Jaspersons eventually plan to rebrand the former Kitsap County Mora shops and will switch to serving Snoqualmie Ice Cream, as part of the transition. Their Island Cool Frozen Yogurt outlet will remain the same.

Violet's Ice Cream Winslow MallMeantime, John and Shawna Fisher, owners of the former Winslow Mall, opened Violet’s – named after one of their daughters – earlier this summer as a way of attracting locals and tourists to the shopping center while they pause their re-construction project.

“We’re trying to drive traffic to the mall and help existing tenants,” says John Fisher, the founder and former president of The Delivery People, a freight forwarding firm. “With Coquette (the popular bakery now in the Winslow Green) leaving, it reduced (foot) traffic. The ice cream place has really driven traffic.”

On a recent, sticky hot August afternoon, tourists were lining up outside the 180-square-foot outlet to get a taste of the unusual fruit and vanilla ice cream combination. For $6.50 a pop for a Waffle cone, or $6 for a cup, customers can choose from a selection of fruits – blackberry, raspberry and so on – to add to their vanilla ice cream. There is even a vegan option. I ate a cup full – thanks to a buddy who took pity on me – and I have to say it was delicious.

The Fishers came up with the concept while traveling to Vancouver Island via Port Angeles last summer. They were waiting for the Coho Ferry in PA and were looking for a treat for their kids when they stumbled upon Welly’s Real Fruit Ice Cream. The family loved the concoction and John and Shawna asked the owners if they might be interested in expanding their operation to Bainbridge Island.

They declined, but John Fisher pursued the idea and bought two blending machines from a manufacturer in New Zealand. After one operator of the impish outlet didn’t work out, the Fishers took over the store and have relied mostly on high school and college kids to help run it. “I can’t tell you how great these Bainbridge kids are,” says John Fisher. “It’s pretty impressive.”

Down the road, the Fishers will be seeking a full-time operator for Violet’s, but that’s not likely to take place until next spring when they hope the mall’s additional renovations are completed. “That fruit ice cream is great,” explains John Fisher, “(but we’ll) probably add more options when we find an operator. We’ll let them use their imaginations (on what a future, larger space might look like).”

Meanwhile, work on the mall will restart sometime in October, after the tourism season begins to wane, John Fisher adds. Clark Construction is doing the heavy lifting, with design help from Coates Design Architects. The mall, which will be renamed The Cove, has already undergone a bit of a facelift, with previously buried wood beams being exposed and a new paint job, among other improvements.

Rendering of refurbished Winslow MallLater this summer, a new coffee may be added to the mall’s retail mix and this fall contractors will add wood siding to the inside of the structure, a brick wall in and around the Teriyaki Town restaurant, new lighting and a “green wall.” Workers will also “grind” the mall’s cement flooring, and build a new staircase to the second floor.

“We need to activate the second floor,” says John Fisher. “It’s not immediately accessible.” He says the existing two stairwells – one in the front and one in the rear – will be refurbished. “Our goal is to renovate (the center) and make it a better building.”

The Fishers and their contractors will work on “the bulk of the renovations” for six to eight weeks this fall and pause again around Thanksgiving, so their tenants can take advantage of the holiday season without disruptions. “Rather than doing it piecemeal like,” adds John Fisher, “we want to do it all at once” and get the work “behind us.”

Sources: Some information for this story was obtained from the Bainbridge Review and the Kitsap Sun.  For more on Violet’s Real Fruit Ice Cream, visit:; Mora,, and Island Cool:

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