Mother Moo Soda Jerk Camp

May 27, 2013
Karen Klemens of Mother Moo Creamery

Karen Klemens of Mother Moo; photo by Cindy Arora

Forget space camp or swim class—head to Soda Jerk Camp this summer and learn how to make organic ice cream all summer long with Karen Klemens, owner of Mother Moo Creamery in Sierra Madre Village. Klemens is offering a tasty summer camp for kids ages 9 to 12 that will teach how to create, make, and work in a neighborhood ice cream shop.

Kids will learn the history of ice cream—including Soda Jerk lingo—the art of the waffle cone, the science behind ice cream, how to make ice cream and toppings from scratch.

The first class starts June 24th. Registration ends Friday, May 31st. A four-day camp will also be offered in July and August.

For more information and to sign up, please call Mother Moo Creamery at 626.355.9650 or email

We chatted with Karen to get some insight into what Soda Jerk Camp is all about:

Photo by Mitchel Evans

Photo by Mitchel Evans

Cindy Arora: Tell us a bit about the idea behind the Soda Jerk Series?

Karen Klemens: Since we’ve been open, I’ve had many customers come through our door to ask about ice cream and how it’s made. If there’s one treat that makes most people happy, it’s ice cream. Memories are created around it, and I just want to be able to share that with other children.

CA: How did you decide what to put on the curriculum?

Karen: The camp is based on what children would need to know if they were going to work at any ice cream store and make ice cream. It’s a hybrid of what I learned in my studies before I opened Mother Moo Creamery and what I teach children who have toured the store. Ice cream making is a lot of fun… and a lot of work.

CA: What’s the most surprising thing kids will discover about the art of ice cream making?

Karen: That it’s not as easy as it looks. There are a number of steps to making ice cream — you just cannot put it into a machine and expect it be wonderful. Also, they might have a better appreciation of excellent quality ice cream and know the differences between stuff filled with air and other not-so-wonderful ingredients and chemicals.

Karen Klemens; photo courtesy of Mother Moo Creamery

Karen Klemens; photo courtesy of Mother Moo Creamery

CA: Did you work as a soda jerk when you were a kid?

Karen: I was never a soda jerk, but I have many fond memories of riding my bike to eat pints of chocolate chip ice cream at Baskin Robbins and getting a hot fudge banana sundae at Buffalo’s, a suburban creamery near where I lived. Those were some of my happiest times.

CA: What are summer ice cream flavors we can expect from Mother Moo?

Karen: Right now strawberries are at the height of their season—so our Organic Strawberry ice cream is the best thing on our board. We also just introduced our Organic Blueberry Cream this week and next up is either a Cherry Sorbet or an Organic Peach ice cream.

CA: Do you have a favorite ice cream? Are you cup or cone? Or waffle cone?

Karen: Chocolate Chip is my favorite, in a cone, of course!

 HP: Will you ever teach this class to adults?

Karen: Yes. I have taught adults ice cream making plus I have given individualized classes for people who want to focus on making ice cream on a larger scale.  On June 1st, I am volunteering my services to teach a hands-on ice cream making class on behalf of the nonprofit group, Food Forward. Proceeds from the class will help feed the hungry throughout Los Angeles. It’s my way of giving back to the community.

Mother Moo Creamery
17 Kersting Ct., Sierra Madre

Food Forward “rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same.”

Photo by Mitchel Evans

Photo by Mitchel Evans

CindyAroraCindy Arora was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in Saveur, Tasting Table, Orange Coast Magazine, and Fodor’s. She’s also mama to an adorable little boy, a feminist, a whiskey enthusiast, and proud to call herself a chick lit author—Heartbreak Cake is her debut novel. To learn more, visit


HearbreakCake by CindyArora





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