Ask A Midwesterner: Barb Zapzalka, Ice Cream Innovator

Barb Zapzalka

When Barb Zapzalka left her job as a systems analyst to open Pumphouse Creamery in 2003, ice cream connoisseurs everywhere let out a collective cheer. The little ice cream shop in south Minneapolis is pumping out big and creative flavors—Sea Salt Caramel Pecan, Earl Grey Tea, and even a Peanut Butter-based scoop for your pooch are just a few of the 20 daily rotating choices.

To churn out the good stuff, Zapzalka always starts with the good stuff. She sources natural and organic ingredients, gets her milk and cream delivered from a Wisconsin farm weekly, and uses produce from local farmers. If you’re more of a cake cone than a waffle cone person (we’re guilty!), Pumphouse Creamery will quickly change your tune. Zapzalka’s fresh waffle cones are made with organic grains and seeds from a local mill in Welcome, Minn.

We put the Minneapolis ice cream queen through our 18-question ringer to see where her Midwest roots (and tastes) lie.

Favorite place in the Midwest?
Minneapolis lakes during the summer. Great food to eat and free music.

What temperature is considered warm enough for no coat

Favorite meal to cook?
Anything in my pressure cooker, especially vegetarian


What’s a hidden gem in your city?
Minnehaha Falls dog park. Acres and acres of woods and water to roam with your unleashed dog.


Local coffee shop of choice?
I’m grooving on PT’s coffee mail order from Topeka, Kansas. Angry Catfish Bicycle and Coffee Bar locally.


Go-to pizza toppings?


Soda or Pop?


Duck Duck Goose or Duck Duck Grey Duck?
Funny, my friends discuss this debate all the time. Duck duck grey duck all the way!


Favorite condiment?
Classic ketchup


Favorite local brewery?
Town Hall Brewery


Can you name all the ingredients in puppy chow?
Pretty much can’t without googling. My sister’s will be rolling their eyes when they know I can’t.


How many shovels do you own?
1 – 2. My least favorite job is shoveling snow and the shovel I have is pretty bad.


Favorite food on a stick?
Ice cream bar


Skiing or wakeboarding?


Signature drink order?
Wine or IPA


Mississippi River or Great Lakes?


Favorite Midwestern artist?
Low from Duluth, MN


Favorite building in the Midwest?
My house. I love being home and unwinding especially after a long day at the ice cream shop.


Featured Image compliment of Pumphouse Creamery.

Connect with Barb Zapzalka
Website: Pumphouse Creamery
Twitter: @pumphouse
Facebook: Pumphouse Creamery