Dairy Hill ready to scoop up community connections
As temperatures soar near the triple digits, West Linn residents will be pleased to know that despite the recent closure of Baskin-Robbins, there is still somewhere in town to go for an icy cool treat.
The Portland-based ice cream shop Dairy Hill opened July 29 in the space vacated by Baskin-Robbins at the Robbinwood Shopping Center on Highway 43.
With locations in Hillsdale and Pioneer Place, Dairy Hill owner Uri Kushner said he's been looking to open a third shop in the West Linn area for quite a while.
"I have a number of friends in the area, and they've been telling me for years, 'Oh, you should open a shop here. We need more local businesses,'" he said. "I've had my eye and ear out for opportunities in the area and then I was informed the good folks that owned the Baskin-Robbins here were selling and simplifying their lives, and so we made the connection."
Kushner said he's looking forward to the shop becoming a part of the West Linn community.
"The philosophy of Dairy Hill Ice Cream is connection to community and opportunities to give back and opportunities for people to use ice cream as a vehicle to reinvest in their own communities and reconnect with their friends and neighbors," he said.
The other Diary Hill locations often help local organizations like parent-teacher associations, Meals on Wheels and youth sports leagues with fundraisers. Kushner hopes to do the same thing for West Linn groups.
"We'd love to hear from people who want to use ice cream as a way to get people to connect and raise some funds," he said.
Kushner said he also wants the shop to eventually become a part of the community's routine with families stopping by after dinner or following a baseball game, or couples coming in on date night.
For now though, the shop is only serving takeout because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When times are proper and healthy and when everyone can be moving around more freely, my vision for the shop is really to be an affordable, fun place for friends and family to meet up," Kushner said.
To make sure the shop is accessible and appealing to everyone in the community, Kushner tries to keep his prices affordable and stock a variety of gluten-free and vegan options.
One regular-size scoop is $4, with two scoops costing $5.25 or three scoops for $6, while ice cream sandwiches cost $4.50.
"I'm really trying to stay at that affordable level, so a family of four, they can all get a treat and be in and out for $15 or less," Kushner said.
Noting Baskin-Robbins' long history in West Linn, Kushner said he's keeping on most of its staff at Dairy Hill.
Opening the shop in place of a Baskin-Robbins felt something like deja vu for Kushner.
He opened the Hillsdale shop in 2015 after a 48-year-old Baskin-Robbins closed and his kids and neighbors worried where they'd get their ice cream.
"It's a similar case here, where we're looking forward to helping the community continue the tradition," Kushner said.
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