By Nick Dekker
Posted On: Jul 13, 2021
Summer is the time for cold treats, and July in particular is National Ice Cream Month (as if we need another excuse!). For me and my family, our go-to all season long is Little Ladies Soft Serve, a bright white truck decorated with colorful pastel sprinkles. Once they start up for the season, we follow them religiously on social media to see where they're popping up each week, and if it's close – or even slightly conveniently on the way somewhere – we'll track it down for a treat.
Little Ladies Soft Serve first hit the streets of central Ohio in the summer of 2018. It's owned by Lydia and Will Chambers, who bought an old postal service truck up in Michigan, drove it back to Ohio, renovated it, and began dishing up some incredible soft serve.
Lydia designs all of their sundaes and makes the toppings for them, giving them creative names like Myra and Essie and Thelma. She said she figures out the name by getting to know the "personality" of each dish. A couple of them are even named after their girls! The Mabel is named for their oldest, which is the classic soft serve covered with sprinkles, while the more colorful Ida is named for the typical break-the-rules second-born. It's a sundae topped with Fruity Pebbles, marshmallow sauce, white chocolate crumble, and a strawberry cookie.
I try not to play favorites, but Little Ladies offers the best soft serve I've ever tried. It's just so wonderfully creamy, not overly sweet, and the toppings are loads of fun. My personal pick is the Aggie: soft serve piled high with homemade puppy chow, mini buckeyes, hot fudge, and peanut butter sauce. One of the nicest details is that they layer a little bit of the toppings at the very bottom, before they add the ice cream. It's a fun little surprise, just as you’re finishing your treat!
Their menu features hit after hit, like the Luella with brown butter graham cracker crumble, drizzled Nutella, and a giant toasted marshmallow. (Very Instagram-able!) Our youngest loves the Margot, loaded with Oreos upon Oreos and any other toppings you like. (He ups the chocolate factor by adding fudge.)
They also feature monthly seasonal sundaes. In May they dished up a combo called the Ruby, with strawberry compote, candied pretzel crunch, and strawberry shortcake crumble – it reminded my wife of a dessert her family made growing up, which they called Presbyterian salad. Their July special is the Lucille, layering pie crust crumble, lemon curd, blueberry compote, a little whipped cream, and a lemon cookie.
Little Ladies has a few regular stops throughout the summer, like on Galena Square every Friday or outside Bleu & Fig catering in Columbus' Clintonville neighborhood most Wednesdays. They also schedule a lot of neighborhood stops, where folks host them outside their homes, then invite anyone who wants to walk or drive over.
Their truck is already popular, and they just announced they're opening a brick and mortar location this fall, just off Polaris Parkway in Westerville. This means we'll get Little Ladies Soft Serve all year round!
If you need an excuse to try Little Ladies, just take your pick! Love ice cream? Need to cool off in the heat? Want to celebrate National Ice Cream Month? Support a family-run Ohio business? Or all of the above!