Eighteen flavors of premium, hand-dipped ice cream is enough to entice anyone to pull over for a quick scoop.
“People are usually happy when they pull in for ice cream. We deal in happiness,” said owner Shannon Pass.
HIlltop Creamery on Black Horse Pike has been a Gloucester Township fixture for more than 50 years. Geoffrey and Shannon Pass have been operating the ice cream business for a little more than a year now.
Shannon says it is not unusual for customers to stop in and reminisce about eating ice cream at Hilltop with their grandparents. One of their repeat customers is a truck driver from Canada who always pulls in to grab a scoop of coconut ice cream.
Before purchasing Hilltop in May 2010, Shannon, who used to work as a chemical engineer, had been raising her children.
“We loved the town and the neighborhood. This was something we always wanted to do, so we got bold,” Shannon said.
The Passes' three children—Ian, 18, Elizabeth, 15, and Erin, 13—help with the family business as well. Ian, who will begin his freshman year at the University of Delaware in a couple weeks, is fluent in Spanish and often asked for by repeat Spanish-speaking customers.
The Passes repaved, repainted and landscaped Hilltop last year. This year, the new owners updated the menu.
The menu is exclusively delicious. Hilltop has more than 15 different sundaes, including the Volcano, made with soft serve ice cream, a well of hot fudge and topped with hard-shell chocolate, crushed cherries and whipped cream. However, the Reeses sundae (loaded with peanut butter and fudge) is the most popular.
Hand-dipped ice cream flavors include coconut, peanut butter swirl (Erin’s favorite), peanut butter cup fudge (Ian’s favorite), black raspberry, rum raisin, birthday cake, cherry vanilla (Shannon’s favorite), pistachio, vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate chip, strawberry, banana, coffee, tin roof and more. In the fall, Hilltop will have pumpkin ice cream.
And of course, there are the hand-spun milkshakes, which are made to order with any flavor (or flavors) of ice cream and milk.
Also on the menu are ice cream cakes (available to be custom ordered for birthdays and special occasions), homemade waffle cones, water ice, Leo's Yum Yum (a hybrid of water ice and ice cream), ice cream sandwiches, flurries, gelati and chocolate-covered frozen bananas. There are also Puppy Cups—frozen treats for your furry friends.
In addition to serving ice cream, Hilltop Creamery partnered with the to promote If a child is observed wearing their bike helmet by a township police officer, they are rewarded with a coupon for a free kids soft serve cone. Hilltop also provided ice cream coupons as prizes for the summer reading program.
If you go, Hilltop Creamery is located at 1540 N. Black Horse Pike. During the summer, it is open Monday through Friday from noon to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10:30 p.m. Stop by on Wednesday nights between 6 and 9 p.m. for in the parking lot. Once school starts, the hours will change and be posted on the marquee in front of the ice cream stand.
Editor's Note: This story is part of an ongoing series by Patch looking at the changing Amercian Dream.