Heads Full of Lightning
A Look at Some Bright Ideas Lit by Sun Valley’s Young People
Photography: Mark Oliver
(page 2 of 6)
Love Your Sweet Life
Toni’s Sun Valley Ice Cream Co.
War. Recession. Unemployment. Just when it seems like we’re plunged into gloom where the depths are their darkest, there is a cure that will rub out all our symptoms if not the whole disease. Something that brings to mind summer vacations, Sunday drives and lazy days where the smiles are as long as the grass is green.
Ask kids, and they will tell you that that something is ice cream.
Are there no sweeter words in the English language, no words more musical to all children, everywhere, than ice cream?
Originally from Washington state, 34-year-old Toni Bogue (née, Deskins) has been making children happy by hand-making her own ice cream for the last eight years as the owner of the Sun Valley Ice Cream Company. Prior to that, she was a bartender, a gardener, a nanny. She ran a summer camp for kids and assisted first-grade teachers at The Community School. She says she did anything she could to find a way to make her new life work in her adopted hometown.
Then one day, it happened. Bogue was serving and tending bar at Ketchum’s Sushi On Second (S.O.S.), when the owners, Roger Roland and Paige Griffith, presented their staff with a job that turned into an opportunity. “They asked if anyone was interested in making green tea and ginger ice cream for the restaurant,” Bogue remembers. “I accepted.”
You can now find up to 25 different flavors of her ice cream in as many as 30 different restaurants and 12 grocery stores.
“It’s funny,” she muses. “People say, ‘You’re so lucky to be your own boss,’ but the truth is I have several bosses. Small business owners are accountable to a lot of people. Every single customer is my ‘boss.’”
As a result, she says she needs to keep her product a premium one. That means packaging her ice cream in biodegradable paper pints and using only the best ingredients she can find.
And, of course, making anything successful requires a lot of elbow grease. At first, she says, she made ice cream all day, headed to S.O.S. for the night shift, and then often went back home to make more ice cream.
After eight years, her company has saturated the Valley’s ice cream market, and the Valley has rewarded her with a loyal clientele. She recently worked out a partnership with Leroy’s Ice and Creperie to manage a storefront operation in the park across from Atkinsons’ Market in Ketchum and supply all the ice cream in summertime. All profits will go to Blaine County schools.
“It is tremendously fulfilling to know that there is a generation growing up with Toni’s Sun Valley Ice Cream,” she says. “What kid doesn’t dream of having an ice cream business?” >>>