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The ambience, the nostalgia and oh so tasty: How Tickleberry's keeps them coming back

There seem to be a lot of reasons for the success of Tickleberry's ice cream, not the least of which is the taste and many flavours available.
There seem to be a lot of reasons for the success of Tickleberry's ice cream, not the least of which is the taste and many flavours available.
Image Credit: Facebook / Tickleberry's Ice Cream

A lot of ingredient go into the making of a successful ice cream shop – including, of course, the ice cream itself.

Tickleberry’s has been a destination ice cream shop for 30 years at its Okanagan Falls location and after three decades, co-owner Kelsey Hoy says it’s time to expand.

Her customers agree. When news came out last week the shop was expanding to a new location in Penticton, the response was “super, shockingly positive,” Hoy says.

Chelsea Ealey called the new Penticton location “a smart move." She says she enjoys a visit to Tickleberry’s because “it has such a nostalgic feel to it, of happy summer times.”

“I’ve been going to Tickleberry’s for years, ever since my family started coming to Penticton,” Ealey says. “It was a family tradition, getting into a sweaty car and driving from Penticton to Okanagan Falls.”

A trip to the Peach City was never complete without a side trip to Tickleberry’s.

Tickleberry visits could be any time of the day, rather than a special treat for dessert. The only thing for sure was the drive was part of every visit to Penticton.

“Rather than an evening treat, sometimes it was supper,” she laughs.

Now that she has kids of her own, it’s become a family tradition that spans generations.

Ealey says it isn’t just the ice cream that has holds a special place in her heart.

“The shop had ambience. It’s always been an iconic place in Okanagan Falls,” she says.

Connie Southwell says Tickleberry’s has been a regular stop on trips through the Okanagan for years.

Southwell lives in Alberta and makes four trips annually to the Interior and the coast of B.C.

“The ice cream is the best we’ve had and they offer so many flavours. They’re generous with the scoops – in fact, we usually order children’s size because we found the regular cone was like a meal for us,” she says.

Southwell says her family enjoys a relaxing stop at the Okanagan Falls shop, eating their cones on the tables provided outside.

“It’s also nice to look through the store and sample the fudge or whatever they have to offer. I guess it’s just a fun, unique stop,” she says.

Hoy isn’t sure what all the ingredients of success are for Tickleberry's, but knows it started with her parents.

“I attribute it to my parents when they first started. They are just super generous and they literally had a sign out on the highway saying ‘free public washrooms,’ something we continue to honour,” Hoy says. “We have staff who have been here more than 20 years. It’s become a tourist location in Okanagan Falls.”

Tickleberry’s opened a beach location at Skaha Lake Park four years ago, but the Penticton location will be their first year-round venue.

Located at the former Starbucks coffee shop at 202 Main St., the business will include a full coffee shop with grab and go options for food, 32 of the shop’s most popular ice creams including flavours made in-house.

There will also be a section of Tickleberry gifts.

The original Okanagan Falls location will continue to operate, opening from March 1 to the last Sunday before Christmas.

“We’ve been wanting to open a new location for a long time. We wanted to do that in Kelowna, but we’ve looked at quite a few places there and just never felt like quite the right fit,” she said.

Hoy says they are planning a November opening in Penticton.

Are you a Tickleberry's fan? Tell us why in the comments below. 

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