Dining With Denise Neil

Little Lion expands offerings beyond ice cream, having sweet success

People are a little reluctant to eat a bunch of ice cream before noon.

But majority of the events that Little Lion Ice Cream owners Jubilee and Ian Miller were taking their ice cream cart to were in the morning.

So the couple, with the help of the creative minds at the Old Town Farmers’ Market, came up with a sweet and crunchy idea that has caused business to take off quickly over the past few months.


Little Lion Ice Cream, a homemade ice cream business that the Miller’s started in March 2016, now is in demand for its waffles, which it is serving up several mornings a week at spots all over town.

You can get them every Saturday morning at the Old Town Farmer’s Market and every Friday and Sunday morning in front of the Espresso to Go Go’s location inside The Lux, 120 E. First St. On Father’s Day last weekend, the waffle crowds were crazy, Jubilee Miller said.

The waffles are going so well, Ian Miller, the longtime head coffee roaster at Reverie, recently left that job to focus more on the growing business. Little Lion Ice Cream started with one cart but added a second one early this year. The Millers also are working on opening a brick and mortar store.

The Millers had long talked about pairing their ice cream with something and were given a push when Luke Snow, the new director of the Old Town Farmer’s Market, tried to persuade Little Lion to become permanent market vendors. If they were going to set up at a morning market, they decided, they were going to have to make a change.

They ordered a restaurant-grade waffle maker and started serving their crispy, crunchy waffles topped with two scoops of homemade ice cream and fruit compote made from whatever fruit was in season at local farms. It’s been strawberries most of the summer. Now it’s blackberries.

Now, the Millers are finding that their fans are craving their waffles at all hours of the day, not just breakfast.

“You can have it in the evening or in the morning. They’re just perfect any time of the day,” Jubilee Miller said.

People can order the waffles topped with organic maple syrup only or with ice cream and compote. During evening services, homemade chocolate syrup also is an option.

Jubilee Miller said the couple has been surprised by the success of the waffles. I had one at the Strawberries & Art Festival in Harper earlier this month, and it was out-of-this-world good.

“Because they’re going so well and people love them so much, we’re going to try to do waffles probably at half our events if not more,” she said.

In addition to their regular appearances at the farmer’s market and at The Lux, Little Lion will be serving waffles and ice cream at Reverie Coffee Roaster’s fourth anniversary celebration from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday. They’ll also be serving waffles at Elderslie Farm on July 1 and July 4.

Waffles are $12 when topped with two scoops of ice cream and compote. They’re less when served just with maple syrup, and half waffles also are available. To find out exactly when and where the waffles will be served, check the Little Lion Facebook page.

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