The Wood Word’s Day Off: Getting the Scoop on Manning’s


Photo credit: Manfid Duran

Amanda Duncklee

Welcome to the first installment of The Wood Word’s Day Off! In this column, various members of our staff will explore the surrounding area and tell you about fun places we find in or around Scranton.

On a brutally cold mid-winter day, there was one thing I wanted more than warmth: ice cream. The overly sugared, cartoon-style your-local-grocery-store brand wasn’t going to do it for me. I needed something wholesome, something that just feels right. I needed Manning’s.

Manning’s Farm Dairy in Dunmore is right off the O’Neill Highway, making it a quick drive from campus or even a nice walk in the warm weather. The cash-only establishment has one of the heaviest doors I’ve ever encountered, but yanking the glass door out of the shop is well worth the effort.

Neon Sign.png
Photo credit: Manfid Duran

Gray tiles and cool green walls reminiscent of mint chocolate chip ice cream (my favorite, in case you were wondering) are modest choices for the establishment. They are background colors as a way to put the customers’ focus on the ice cream—and the cows.

Pictures and portraits of the milk machines connect the consumer to the product. On the northern wall, there are poster-sized images of cows captioned by the Manning’s Farm history and ice-cream crafting process. Adjacent to that is a wall-length freezer with flavors available by the half gallon along with a refrigerator holding Manning’s milk.

Photo Wall.png
Photo credit: Manfid Duran

Across from the history wall is the main event. Tubs rest in the freezer while glass cases protect the sweet ice cream. Manning’s boasts over thirty favors. The shop has a rotation of summer and winter flavors with standard flavors such as vanilla appearing year round. In addition to cones and cups, customers can get sundaes, milkshakes, cakes, soda floats and even customized cakes.

Ice Cream Gallons.png
Photo credit: Manfid Duran

Each flavor is labeled, but if you’re unsure what you want, the employee behind the counter will give you a generous sample to make sure you’re satisfied with your choice. Once you’ve gotten the goods, you can take a seat at one of the cow skin decorated tables scattered around the store.

Manning Farm Dairy in Dalton, PA, is where the family creates and distributes the ice cream. Manning’s is a family-run business and, according to the Dunmore Manning’s manager Joyce Kozlowski, the family takes product quality seriously.

“It’s very important to Manning’s that [employees] scrape the frost,” said Kozlowski, who is responsible for the décor, paint job and upkeep of the Dunmore Manning’s. “Frost changes the color and texture of the ice cream.”

This attention to detail ensures that each customer will have a quality cone whether the scoop is from the top or bottom of the tub.

Woman Toppings.png
Photo credit: Manfid Duran

Kozlowski, a friend of the Manning’s family for decades, has been the store manager for 11 years and describes Manning’s as “a good place to work.” She said the store is busiest in the summer, but that doesn’t mean people stop going in winter. In fact, Kozlowski said there are regulars who stop by the shop year round.

“I love it here,” said Kozlowski after scooping ice cream for a mother and her young sons. “It’s very comfortable. People are generally always very happy when they come here since they’re getting ice cream.”

That day, I certainly fit into this category of very happy people. Kozlowski’s favorite Manning’s flavor is vanilla yogurt, but she recommended I try the graham cracker flavor called Graham Central Station. I paired a scoop of that with Cookies and Cream and could not have been more pleased with my decision.

The cinnamon sugar combined with the chocolate and vanilla reminded me of a frozen s’more. Each spoonful was a joy: the rich cream tastes like the utmost care and pride that went into creating something wonderful. The ice cream melted slowly in my mouth but held well in the cup, so I wasn’t left with a runny mess. All too soon, my cup was gone, but I’m not even mad about it; that just means I get to go back for another scoop.

Contact the writer: [email protected]