Worth the Drive: Old-Fashioned Scoops at MacKay’s Ice Cream

MacKay’s Ice Cream is a Cochrane staple, serving delicious ice cream to locals and visitors alike for more than 75 years.

Photograph courtesy of MacKay’s Ice Cream.

Family-run MacKay’s Ice Cream has been slinging scoops for more than 75 years, making it a longtime favourite for those in Cochrane, Calgary and beyond. There’s a good chance there will be a line out the door, but that’s what the memorabilia is for: The original sign that adorned the shop when James and Christina MacKay took over Cochrane’s general store in 1946 hangs inside (they started making homemade ice cream in the back in 1948), and packaging and ice cream scoops of yore are also on display. From pistachio almond and cookie dough to haskap berry and Indian-inspired kulfi, there’s a flavour of the small-batch ice cream for everyone. And don’t leave without adding a pin to your hometown on the infamous “How Far Have You Come for MacKay’s” world map.

Driving distance from Calgary: 40 minutes northwest

Bring home: One-litre containers are available in nearly every flavour. Bring a cooler so they don’t melt on the trip back!

Spend the night: Charmed by Cochrane’s historic downtown? Check into the century-old Rockyview Hotel, just a few doors down from MacKay’s. The Western-style rooms, featuring clapboard walls, antique furniture and patchwork quilts, will transport you for the evening.

220 1 St. West, Cochrane, 403-932-2455 mackaysicecream.com

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This article appears in the June 2022 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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