‘The Galley’ Adds to Cambridge’s Lauded Ice Cream Lineage

Kelly Williamson's new small-batch operation excels with fresh, artisan ingredients and a flair for the experimental.

the galley

Tahini caramel chip ice cream. Photo courtesy of Peter Rufo.

Kelly Williamson, founder of The Galley, is reinventing the ice cream you grew up on.

Instead of vanilla, the new Cambridge company has malted, Madagascar vanilla bean. In place of chocolate peanut butter, Williamson has combined a salty tahini caramel with bitter dark chocolate. Classic pistachio gets steeped with smoky cardamom. And even coconut ice cream has gotten a serious upgrade thanks to a riff on Mexican Cajeta, a homemade cinnamon-infused caramel made with goat’s milk instead of traditional heavy cream.

Growing up in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Williamson was weaned on Captain Dusty’s, but it was a revelatory goat cheese and cherry ice cream at a friend’s dinner party that inspired the advertising exec to start making her own. What started as a hobby quickly turned into a serious endeavor as Williamson held focus groups to get feedback on the flavors and textures of her growing ice cream repertoire. She even went back to school, enrolling in the Ice Cream Short Course in the Food Sciences department of Penn State.

The Galley, named after the galley-style Cambridge kitchen where Williamson launched her business, currently offers seven original ice cream flavors like lemon curd, fresh mint chip, and a roasted white chocolate swirled with raspberry marmalade. In addition to her everyday lineup, The Galley offers three rotating seasonal flavors such as summer’s passion fruit and a roasted strawberry tinged with local Carlisle Honey. Focused on “elevating” the ice cream eating experience, Williamson says she’s also experimenting with savory components such as sea salt, miso, brown butter, popcorn, sweet potatoes, and fresh herbs like basil, thyme, and rosemary.

You can currently find Williamson’s range of ice creams—free from extracts, chemical emulsifiers, stabilizers, and gums—at the Ashland Farmer’s Market every Saturday and at The Somerville Flea July 28, August 23, and September 13.  You can also find The Galley’s products at upcoming pop-ups with Night Shift Brewing and Black Magic Coffee, or by custom ordering pints from her website.

“If you want three pints randomly at 3 a.m., I will deliver,” Williamson says.

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