ABOUT US

La Cigale Home-made Ice Cream



ICE CREAM IS OUR PASSION!

Love is Sweeter than Chocolate

In 2001, La Cigale first opened its doors in a small heritage house on the main street in Old Chelsea, just 12 minutes north of Ottawa. Offering freshly churned ice cream to residents, hikers and visitors to the Gatineau Park, we gradually became known for our fresh take on that simple pleasure. In 2010 we moved to a larger space just around the corner directly across from the park's Visitors' Centre. We were able to add a wraparound porch and extend our garden; all with the intent of growing our business in a way that continues to emphasize fun, relaxation and the goodness of homemade ice cream.

Why I decided to start an ice cream shop

In 1998, my husband, George, was contracted to work overseas for 6 months. Jumping at the chance to try living somewhere new, I quit my job working at a local restaurant, we gave notice to our landlords, and we packed up our few belongings, including 3 foodie magazines (I had to limit myself), and moved to Senegal, Africa.
While we did find adventure and excitement in Senegal, there was also a lot of time to sit and wait, and I got to know those 3 foodie magazines inside and out. While sweating my way through the rainy season, I really seized upon one particular article from Bon Appétit that featured the best homemade ice cream in the United States. Homemade ice cream, what a great idea!! I love to make people happy with food, and ice cream equals happy right?, So it seemed a natural fit.
So when we got home I signed myself up for a few ice cream courses at Penn State and the University of Wisconsin. And a couple of years later, after all the work of writing business plans and securing financing, we found a great little storefront on the main drag in Chelsea where we could get started.
And the rest is history!

Chris Kaarsberg
Owner. La Cigale Homemade Ice Cream



We want our customers to relax and enjoy their visit to our shop. We want La Cigale to be a place where people can, briefly, forget all their responsibilities, and daily stresses, and enjoy a simple pleasure, like good ice cream"



La Cigale

Where the name comes from

La Cigale – is a popular French fable that many francophones learn in school. (The translated version is slightly different in that it uses a grasshopper instead of the Cigale.) A Cigale, or cicada is the insect that you hear on those hot summer days singing their high-pitched songs in the ditches at the side of the road.

While the original fable was suppose to be a lesson on the importance of being hard working, at La Cigale we really want to celebrate the Cigale and encourage people to enjoy the here and now, remembering to take time to appreciate the little things.

We want our customers to relax and enjoy their visit to our shop. –We want La Cigale to be a place where people can, briefly, forget all their responsibilities, and daily stresses, and enjoy a simple pleasure – like good ice cream.

The Grasshopper and the Ant - A Fable by Aesop
One fine day in winter some Ants were busy drying their store of corn, which had got rather damp during a long spell of rain. Presently, up came a Grasshopper and begged them to spare her a few grains, “For,” she said, “I’m simply starving.” The Ants stopped work for a moment, though this was against their principles. “May we ask,” said they, ‘what you were doing with yourself all last summer? Why didn’t you collect a store of food for the winter?” “The fact is,” replied the Grasshopper, “I was so busy singing that I hadn’t the time.” If you spent the summer singing,” replied the Ants, “you can’t do better than spend the winter dancing.” And they chuckled and went on with their work.


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