- About Us
Theno's makes comeback at Sammamish Valley Festival | SLIDESHOW
Danielle Friedman knows her ice cream and can tell you which flavors are best for any situation.
If you're the type to want ice cream day after day, she recommends vanilla chocolate chip because it's a clean flavor — good for regular consumption. But if you're up to try something different, she recommends a scoop of mint chocolate chip and a scoop of pumpkin as they're a surprisingly tasty combination.
Friedman, who grew up in Woodinville but now lives in Seattle, acquired her ice cream knowledge while working at Theno's Dairy in Redmond until it closed a more than a year ago.
On Friday, the 21-year-old was one of the first people at the Sammamish Valley Festival in Woodinville in anticipation of the return of Theno's. The ice cream shop served four flavors — vanilla, chocolate, caramel and peach berry — at the annual festival. Friedman said it was great that Theno's is making a comeback to serve a community that loves it so much.
"Something that never should have gone away," she said.
And many would agree. Several people who stood in line Friday afternoon for ice cream said the only reason they stopped by the festival was for Theno's.
At 34, Kim Ocampo grew up going to Theno's. Her mother used to buy milk from the dairy when it was still a fully operating dairy with cows on the land. And when Ocampo had her daughter, she would bring the now 6-and-a-half-year-old to the shop to enjoy the ice cream that was such a big part of her life.
"We cried when they closed," Ocampo said about her and her mother.
She added that they would go as far as Snoqualmie for ice cream, but nothing has compared to Theno's.
"There's magic in there," she said.
When Ocampo learned Theno's was coming back, she called her mother to share the news and they "cheered for joy." She and her daughter attended the festival on Friday and said they planned to return on Saturday for more ice cream.
THE SAME, BUT DIFFERENT
Like Ocampo, Glenn Bloxham grew up going to Theno's. But in addition to being a fan of the ice cream, the Redmond resident is also a board member for the Bonafide American Mission (BAM), the nonprofit that now owns Theno's and has worked for a year to bring back the beloved dairy.
Bloxham, who is also co-chair of BAM's Theno's committee, said they began negations with the dairy's previous owner, Doug Bloor, after last year's festival. BAM acquired the Theno's name and equipment in the spring and they set up a facility at 21 Acres, a nonprofit in Woodinville whose mission is to cultivate, demonstrate and advance systems that support sustainable agriculture.
Although Theno's is coming back, things will be a little different.
Bloxham said BAM and Theno's will be offering community cooking classes at 21 Acres to teach people how to make the popular ice cream from beginning to end. The new business plan is to make the ice cream through this education and training program and with help from volunteers, using traditional Theno's techniques, equipment and ingredients — Bloxham said in acquiring the dairy, they also received all of the original ice cream recipes.
The final plans for the new Theno's reincarnation are still up in the air as Bloxham is currently working on a business plan for the retail side of the business. He said they are looking into various options including a physical building or a food truck, which would make it easier to do more festivals as well as move from location to location throughout the week.
Bloxham said he has talked to a local business owner about the possibility of using their parking lot as a location for a Theno's food truck if that is the direction they end up going.
"Nobody says no," he said about the help they have received in bringing back Theno's.
Friedman said this is because the excitement is there to see Theno's return.
"It's a part of this area," she said. "People know it, they love it and they want it to come back."