July 22, 2020
Faces of Fauquier: She’s an ice cream “connoisseur”
Photo/Don Del Rosso
“I love the people, the customers,” says Moo Thru Assistant Manager Lauren McGarvey. “It’s just a good place to be. I love the product that we sell and that we’re family-owned.”
Some people try to have some fancy, backwards wrist movement. But I think they learn rather quickly in order to get the perfect scoop, you’ve got to dig deep around the edges.
After more than six years with the Moo Thru ice cream parlor near Remington, the assistant manager knows a thing or two about her customers.
In many instances, Lauren McGarvey, 22, can identify them by the orders they predictably place, by name or, in one case, the name of their dog — “Jake,” a Boston terrier.
With a razor-sharp memory and an evolved attention to detail, Ms. McGarvey joined the family-owned business as a Liberty High School junior.
Starting as a hand-dipped ice cream scooper, the Midland-area resident quickly mastered the skill.
“There definitely is a technique,” Ms. McGarvey explained. “When you bring ice cream down from the freezer, the edges are the soft spot. You have to go in with the scoop in a specific way.
“Some people try to have some fancy, backwards wrist movement. But I think they learn rather quickly in order to get the perfect scoop, you’ve got to dig deep around the edges.”
Ms. McGarvey added: “Obviously, it has to be a perfect ball. We can’t serve sloppy, melty ice cream.”
And a “perfect” scoop should weigh four ounces, she said.
Ms. McGarvey scooped for a few months and later became head cashier. In June, she got promoted to assistant manager — today overseeing shifts of seven to 10 workers.
Moo Thru features more than 20 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream daily — all made at the shop along Route 29 just north of Remington.
“Blackberry is definitely the best seller,” Ms. McGarvey said.
Other popular choices include cookies and cream, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, mint chocolate chip, cake batter, coffee and cookie dough, the Pennsylvania native said.
“I would say I sell more medium waffle cones than anything else — just taking a random guess.”
The shop also serves soft chocolate and vanilla ice cream.
The Moo Thru menu includes shakes, floats, sundaes, grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs and warm doughnuts.
Ms. McGarvey’s favorite ice cream flavor varies.
“It kind of just depends on the day,” the self-described ice cream “connoisseur” said. “I like to make ‘Banana and Holstein’ — banana and chocolate chunk. I’ve always loved ‘Cotton Candy’ and ‘Mounds,’ which is coconut ice cream with chocolate flakes.”
From the time she started at the parlor, her most consistent customer has ordered the same treat — a large sundae — up to five times per week, Ms. McGarvey said.
“If we have ‘Captain Crunch,’ he gets ‘Captain Crunch.’ That’s like a special flavor. If we don’t, the he gets two (scoops) of cookie dough, one (scoop) of dark chocolate, with hot fudge, peanut butter and chocolate sprinkles.”
The man documents every purchase, Ms. McGarvey said.
“He has a huge collage of photos that he printed out and showed me. He always takes a picture with the (nearby Routes 28 and 29) traffic light behind” the sundaes.
In May, Ms. McGarvey earned an associate’s degree in health science from Lord Fairfax Community College just south of Warrenton.
Next month, she will pursue online a bachelor’s degree in health science administration through Old Dominion University.
“Eventually, after school, I would like to begin a career as a pharmaceutical sales representative,” Ms. McGarvey said.
Meanwhile, she will crack the books and work at Moo Thru for as long as owners Ken and Pam Smith “will have” her.
With the motto “real ice cream from real farmers,” the Smiths, who own a large Southern Fauquier dairy operation, opened Moo Thru in June 2010 and today employ 65 people.
Head cashier, assistant manager, Moo-Thru, near Remington, 2013 to present.
• Why do you do the job?
I started when I was a junior in high school, and over the years I’ve become quite attached. I had a friend who was working here at the time. There’s a lot of people employed by Moo Thru that go to Liberty (High School). I heard that they were hiring and filled out an application.
I love the people, the customers. It’s just a good place to be. I love the product that we sell and that we’re family-owned.
Parents, Bill and Carla McGarvey.
Associate’s degree, health science, Lord Fairfax Community College, 2020; Liberty High School, 2015.
• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
• Why do you live here?
We moved here, and I’ve kind of stayed put. Luckily enough, I do like it here. I like the pace. It’s rural. It’s beautiful. I think it’s a good place to raise a family. I’m grateful I was raised here.
• How do you describe this county?
I wouldn’t say Fauquier’s super-modern — more rural than urban. I like Fauquier because you’ve got Warrenton. We’re close to Gainesville. We’re close to D.C.
People are very friendly. It’s a close-knit community.
• What would you change about Fauquier?
I can’t say there’s anything I would change, because I’ve always felt fulfilled here.
• What do you do for fun?
Spend time with my family. I love animals of all kinds. We have two Pomeranians — Lucy and Izzy.
• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Germantown Lake (at C.M. Crockett Park near Midland).
• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I would hope that it would be the same. I hope it doesn’t change drastically — turn into a Gainesville, or something. Fauquier is very charming; I would hate for it to lose that.
• Favorite TV show?
• Favorite movie?
“The Wizard of Oz”
• Favorite book?
“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
• Favorite vacation spot?
Virginia Beach. It’s family-oriented, quiet.
• Favorite food?
• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
Be kind, treat others as you would have them treat you, treat everyone with respect. It’s something I want to instill in my kids, when I have children. A college classmate told me I was indiscriminately kind, and I try to carry that with me and take that in every situation, especially with things going on now.
• Who’s your hero and why?
My grandma. She’s exceptionally strong, independent and speaks her mind. She raised my mom by herself and put herself through nursing school in her 30s. She’s kind of like my twin soul. We’re both Leo’s, both very like-minded.
• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery?
I would donate some of it. I’d probably give to local animal shelters. I definitely would save some.
My dad has been absolutely over-the-moon generous with me. I definitely would pay my dad back. He bought me a car for my 16th birthday and another for my 18th. He paid for my (college) tuition. He’s made me well-rounded culturally, taking me to museums, plays. We’ve taken a lot of trips out of the country.
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Hopefully more young people will heed her advice and actions, she represents the real Fauquier county I grew up with.....
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