Love Boat Ice Cream to provide sweet finish to monthly potlucks
A local handmade dessert is the topic of the last Community Potluck at The Community House.
A representative from Love Boat Ice Cream, which has a location on Sanibel and two in Fort Myers, will be the guest speaker today, May 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. Hosted for years by the Sanibel Community Association, the monthly events will come to an end with this one as the venue tries something new.
“It’s going to be the last potluck,” Teresa Riska-Hall, executive director of the Sanibel Community Association and The Community House, said. “We’ve been doing them for quite some time.”
Each event has served as a sort of neighborhood gathering, with food, fun and a speaker.
Riska-Hall explained that since the 1970s, the venue has offered social functions for the islands and most have centered around food. The new approach will preserve that tradition, but with a new format.
“We’re going to offer some community social nights, where we actually have the food already cooked for everybody,” she said, noting that people will not have to worry about bringing a dish to share.
“It’s really a continuity into the history of the food and the friendship and sharing,” Riska-Hall said. “We’re hitting that part of our history, we’re still doing it. We’re just doing it in a different way.”
Before the change, Love Boat will have the chance to share its story with the community.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t realize we have a Sanibel store,” Jenny Borst, store manager at the San Carlos Boulevard location in Fort Myers, said. “We want to raise awareness for the location.”
“It’s hard to get people to know that we’re there,” she added.
But that is just one of the reasons it jumped at the opportunity to participate.
“We like to promote small business and we like to promote community,” Borst said. “We thought it would be neat to partner up with them because of what The Community House does.”
“We’re really looking forward to this,” she added.
Her brother, Brian Borst, took over as owner of Love Boat a couple of years ago and opened the Sanibel store in 2015. The others are on San Carlos Boulevard, with the newest opening up last year.
There have been several owners over the years, but her brother intends to be the last.
“He says he will be the seventh and final owner of Love Boat,” Borst said, adding that it has become a family business. “He is looking to continue to grow Love Boat, but keep it as a small mom and pop.”
The business first opened in 1967.
“Love Boat has been in business for over 50 years,” she said.
For the potluck, the presentation will cover the history of the company, as well as Love Boat’s ice cream-making process. It is all made by hand with fresh ingredients, like cake in the cake ice cream.
“We’re going to always make sure our ice cream is made by hand, as it always has been,” Borst said.
The presentation will cover the newest store and company’s wholesale business.
“We have a list of restaurants and businesses carrying our flavors,” she said.
There will also be a discussion about what the future holds for Love Boat. Borst explained that the company wants to expand its mobile business, which now attends “taste of” and school events.
“There’s so many markets we would like to be able to reach,” she said.
“To bring our ice cream to customers who may not be able to come to us,” Borst added.
At the potluck, Love Boat will have a few flavors on hand for attendees to enjoy.
“We’re going to bring some customers’ favorites for samples,” she said.
Attendees are asking to bring a dish to the event that will serve at least six people. Riska-Hall pointed out that because Love Boat is bringing ice cream, appetizers, entrees and side dishes will be needed.
“Nobody needs to being a dessert,” she said.
After the final potluck, The Community House will kick off its new social nights in July.
Riska-Hall noted that each event will have a food-centered theme.
Set for July 25, the first one will be Taco Night; Aug. 22 will be Pasta Night.
Resident Chief Jarred Harris will prepare the food for the social nights.
“Everybody loves him and his food,” she said.
Riska-Hall anticipates that the new events will be held monthly, like the potlucks were.
“Right now, we’re just trying to see how it works,” she said.
Love Boat Ice Cream is at 1700 Periwinkle Way, Suite 9, Sanibel, with the additional locations at 16229 San Carlos Blvd., Fort Myers, and 16475 San Carlos Blvd., Fort Myers.
For more information, visit online at www.loveboaticecream.com.
The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.