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Ice cream maker draws inspiration from Butte pub for new flavor

Posted at 11:55 AM, May 22, 2024

BUTTE — A sweet collaboration that spans hundreds of miles is pairing an ice cream shop in Philipsburg with a pub in Butte while also adding to the nostalgia of the pub that used to house an ice cream parlor.

"We thought it would be a cool idea to turn (a special breakfast food) into an ice cream flavor, which is kind of a dream come true for me. I don’t know why, I’ve always wanted my own flavor," says Kyle O'Hearn, the co-owner and chef at Homestake Pub located on Utah Avenue in Butte.

O’Hearn and his wife, Jean, opened Homestake Pub just over a year ago and developed a special breakfast menu for their Sunday brunch. The stuffed french toast is full of sweet and savory flavors from the cream cheese filling to the homemade huckleberry syrup.

"We grilled it and it was pretty good and we thought it would be fun to just throw it in the deep fryer, see how it came out and the stuffed French toast was born."

The dish was reborn recently as an ice cream flavor after a regular customer who happens to make ice cream planted the idea that he could replicate the flavor of the breakfast confection.

Mark Weber, his wife, and his daughter have a sense for what makes a good ice cream flavor. Weber started making ice cream almost 20 years ago at a shop in Virginia City and he opened a second shop West Yellowstone with the unique idea to churn the ice cream right in the shop where customers order their scoops.

Weber has dozens of unique flavors and works with several restaurants across southwest Montana to create signature flavors that are unique to their individual menus.

"I’ll tell 'em I can make any flavor they want. I've even made garlic before. So I can make any flavor they want and when it’s right we produce it and we’re off to the races," says Mark Weber, the owner of Philipsburg Creamery.

It takes a couple of months to send flavor samples back and forth from the lab that Weber uses to create precise flavors. He says aside from creating ice cream that makes people happy, he enjoys experimenting with new flavors.

"It’s exciting for us to experiment with different flavors and people go, 'You can make a flavor out of that?' Yeah. I could probably make a flavor out of the steel chair, so it’s just fun to do," says Weber.

Homestake Pub’s new ice cream flavor does just that, capturing the sweetness of the huckleberry syrup, confectioner's sugar, and whipped cream—but the ice cream does something else for Homestake Pub.

"The building held an ice cream store for a lot of years and people still come in reminiscing about when it was the ice cream shop, so we thought it would be a cool addition as well to kind of keep that tradition moving forward," says O'Hearn.

The stuffed french toast is only on the pub's Sunday brunch menu but the stuffed french toast ice cream is available all week.