Award-Winning Ice Cream

by | Sep 15, 2022 | Online Exclusives, Restaurants, Topsail Island

Celtic Creamery TI brings Irish flavors to Surf City.

July may be ice cream month, but Celtic Creamery TI’s luscious flavors will have you screaming for ice cream all year long.

Celtic Creamery TI opened in Surf City in August and joins Jeff Hogan’s original shop in Carolina Beach. Hogan’s sister opened a shop in Hendersonville and another shop exists in Smithfield.

The Surf City shop is owned and operated by Sean and Kristy Simpson, with special help from their children, Giada, Kash and Kane. College buddies, Sean Simpson and Hogan are both accountants and now, both ice cream makers. And although Americans eat nearly twice as much ice cream as folks around the world, Hogan, a Carolina Beach resident, found the ice cream of his dreams in Ireland.

Topsail island NC Celtic Creamery

“I found the creamiest ice cream in Ireland several years ago on a visit,” Hogan says. “I wanted to bring it to the U.S. and after several asks, I finally convinced Joanna to let me share her recipes.”

Joanna is Joanna McCarthy, the originator of the Irish ice cream, co-owner of the Celtic Creamery franchises and the mastermind of all of the ice cream recipes. McCarthy has made award winning ice cream in Ireland since 2005. Her shop, Sundaes, is in Ballybunion, Ireland, on the shores of the Atlantic. The shop’s ice creams, regularly nominated for awards, captured Hogan’s tastebuds and drove his desire to bring those flavors to the United States.

Some of the special ingredients for the ice creams are imported from Europe, Hogan says, though North Carolina and South Carolina cows provide the milk for the sweet treats.

The secret, he says, is in the butterfat content and making the ice cream fresh each day.

TI NC Celtic Creamery

“We have many unique ice cream flavors that truly bring the wonderful flavors of Ireland to the states,” Hogan says, “Irish Butter Pecan, Living the Dream Orish Cream, From the Sea and the Bee, Celtic Coffee.”

In Surf City, the Simpson family begins their day early, churning fresh ice cream daily, which often takes more than four hours. Nine flavors are always available – Voluptuous Vanilla, Mint to Be, Scrumbumptious Strawberry, Irish Butter Pecan, Chocolicious Chocolate, From the Sea and the Bee (sea salt caramel honey) “Oh No” Cookie Dough and Heavenly Heath. On a recent visit Captivating Coconut, Carolina Beach Peach, Blackberry Bramble, Birthday Cake, Yum Bally bunion Bubblegum and Celtic Coffee also were on offer.

Celtic Creamery boasts 58 handmade flavors. They offer many toppings, including the traditional nuts, chocolates, fresh fruits, waffle cone crumbles and cookie crumbles.
“There’s been no left-over ice cream,” Simpson says. “We’re so pleased with the community response in the short time we have been open. We’re excited about the future.”

Hot, made-to-order doughnuts are available and often featured on sundaes, such as the Tummy Trembler, six scoops of ice cream arranged over a split banana surrounded by eight hot mini donuts. Toppings include fresh cream, cookie pieces, Oreos, marshmallows, chocolate shavings and hot chocolate sauce — all served with a flaming firework! Celtic Creamery also offers coffee, hot chocolate and homemade milkshakes and floats.

A year-round business, Celtic Creamery TI has seasonal hours. Check their Facebook page for hours of operation. For now, the Simpsons invite everyone to try ice cream inspired by Ireland and made right here on Topsail Island.

Want to go?
Celtic Creamery TI
204 New River Drive, Surf City
(910) 541-0221

About the author

Kate Carey

Kate Carey

A former Ohioan and Buckeyes football fan, Kate M Carey has her toes firmly placed in the sands of Topsail Island. Kate writes fiction about people and the strange things they do for love and essays on the politics of everyday life. Her work has appeared in Noctua, Indiana Voice, The Tishman Review, Panoply, Camel City Digest, Savannah Writers Anthology, and County Line Journal. A guest columnist for Women AdvaNCe, she and her husband, an Episcopal priest, moved to North Carolina in 2015 and have adult children living in Ohio and Florida.