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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Monday, May 20, 2024
The Echo
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Foodie Fix: Spotlighting Ashley’s Ice Cream

Exploring downtown Marion's ice cream bank

One might argue that ice cream is an essential part of being a Taylor student.

Ivanhoe’s, Dairy Queen and Sophie’s Ice Cream are among the most popular spots for students to get their frozen dairy fix in the Upland area. 

But fewer students know about Ashley’s Ice Cream Cafe.

Nestled in the heart of downtown Marion, Ashley’s is located in a building previously used as a bank.

With 50 flavors of hard ice cream, the shop is overflowing with options. In addition to hard ice cream, Ashley’s offers a wide array of sundaes, milkshakes, parfaits, floats, coffees, baked goods, donuts and other scrumptious treats.

Shop owner Brian Conwell stated that his store will soon be offering a savory selection of sandwiches and bagels in addition to all the sweets. 

We visited Ashley’s with hankerings for a cold and delicious refreshment. 

The bank-structured building made for a unique, welcoming and bright environment. Natural light poured in through the windows in the space; tables and chairs were arranged to provide privacy for smaller groups. Still, the place was large enough to accommodate at least a couple dozen people, making it an ideal destination for wing events or other large groups. 

We never thought we’d find ourselves eating ice cream in a bank, but there we were, and we couldn’t have been happier. 

The cafe works in partnership with Jigsaw Junction, a business selling board games and puzzles. Over a shared snack, customers can play one of the various games or puzzles set out for use, and they can also purchase a game or puzzle, if desired. The various paintings and jigsaw puzzles adorning the walls made for easy conversation starters as we debated our order. 

Selecting one’s ice cream flavor seemed to be the most stressful part of the process. Since there are so many flavors, choosing just one is, indeed, a daring challenge. But with the help of Conwell, our server, we were able to sample multiple flavors to ease our indecisiveness.

Even after numerous samples (served on the most delightful tiny spoons), we were left paralyzed with option fatigue. We settled for a sample platter consisting of a scoop each of four flavors; this is a viable option for the most indecisive or curious of customers.

We tried several flavors and thoroughly enjoyed the pb hearts, cotton candy, munchie madness and brownie. We also enjoyed the banana split which can be served with any ice cream flavor.

It was exciting to load our treats up with many of the various toppings offered, including sprinkles, whipped cream and a wide array of fruits. 

While we decided to only purchase ice cream, it seems that Ashley’s was equipped to serve anyone’s hunger. From those who needed just a delectable snack to those with a boundless appetite, all could find satisfaction with the many food options available on the menu. 

Overall, we found the peaceful, quiet and unique vibe of Ashley’s paired with its delicious, bountiful offering of ice creams to be quite pleasant.

While it is a bit further from campus than Sophie’s and Ivanhoe’s, Ashley’s provides a unique experience filled with flavor, fun and food, of course.

Next time you are craving a sweet creamy treat, consider making the drive to Marion for an ice cream experience you will never forget. 

Ashley’s may just become your newest Taylor staple.