The Foodies: Goodies Ice Cream and Coop and Caboodle

It may come as a surprise to visitors of the Magic City that Birmingham chefs regularly nab some of the nation’s most-esteemed culinary accolades, but locals know good food abounds beyond the restaurant scene (and mom’s kitchen too). From the butcher and baker to chicken coop maker, Birmingham is home to a diverse and ever-growing marketplace of passionate foodies offering generous helpings of handcrafted and curated selections that put Birmingham on the Southeast’s gastronomic roadmap. This year “The Foodies” list showcases producers who are lending incomparable interest and flavor to our hometown—and they share some of their favorite finds too.

Goodies Ice Cream

Neil Patrick

Before the food truck phenom, there was the ice cream man. “Most folks don’t know it’s a family business, ” Neil says. “Owner, Fred Shain, was originally a Good Humor ice cream man in New York in the 60s. He moved to Texas to start his own business, Goodies Ice Cream. Finding too many trucks already on the road, he moved to Alabama and grew his business here.”

Anybody who lives in Mountain Brook or Homewood knows Neil Patrick, aka “The Ice Cream Man.” And if you didn’t know his name, you certainly recognize his truck’s jingle. Our children (and us before them), seem to have a keen ear for the familiar tune and always just enough change to get their favorite summer treat. For 25 years, Neil has served our communities. Next time he’s out, indulge your inner child. C’mon. You know you want that Bomb Pop!

- Sponsors -

“I have the most fun job in the world!!!!! Who can really say they are not happy when the ice cream truck comes by? In the end it’s a business. But who says you can’t have fun at work? I remember a saying that goes like this…if you like what you do for work then you’re not really working.” — Neil Patrick

DID YOU KNOW? Goodies offers 47 different items on the truck. Three other varieties are available for special events.

Click here to connect with Goodies Ice Cream on Facebook.

Coop & Caboodle

Growing up on a farm and raising her first chickens at age 12, Melissa Allphin became familiar with feathered friends and fresh food early on. She flew the coop for chef school and a career as a nutritionist for Cooking Light but returned to the flock when her son was diagnosed with cancer. Melissa wanted to offer her family the same healthy eating habits she enjoyed as a child. “Clean food is such an important part of a healthy diet. Organic and non-GMO (genetically modified organism) are critically important to us as we see cancer on the rise. It’s my way of fighting back, ” Melissa says.

Coop and Caboodle sells and rents free-range chickens and coops. For rentals, customers receive two hens, a coop, and feed for six months ($375). Coops are eco-friendly and locally constructed. Melissa sells her fresh eggs at local farmer’s markets. To find her, like her page on Facebook. To see her hens in action, stop by Leaf & Petal in Mountain Brook Village.

“I love good food—the fresher and simpler the better. Eggs are an integral part of so many of our meals. I wanted to provide the freshest, most nutritious eggs I could possibly produce and that meant raising hens myself. Finding hens raised and fed a non-GMO feed is difficult. The coops are a natural by-product of our egg enterprise, and who doesn’t love a cute coop?” — Melissa Allphin

WHAT MAKES A GOOD EGG? Most grocery store eggs come from chickens raised in a 4- by 8-inch area. Free-range commerical eggs simply mean they have access to the outdoors which might mean just one small door opening to a tiny yard for 10, 000 chickens. My hens have access to fresh grass, bugs, and sunshine every single day, and they are grass-fed. Any supplemental feed is of the highest quality. Eggs are rated 1 to 5 (5 being the top rated) and some of the eggs sold are not rated at all, meaning they are just too low to even score. Top-rated eggs are almost always small to medium-sized from a farmer who is doing things just right. Currently we have no top-rated egg farmers in Alabama. That’s something I plan to change! I expect my eggs to be at least a 4!


4 slices good-quality bacon
2 cups shredded raw potato
4 freshly laid eggs (from Coop and Caboodle)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

1. Place bacon slices in 12-inch skillet and cook on medium-high until crispy. Remove bacon leaving bacon fat in skillet. Crumble bacon and set aside. (Pour off vegetable oil.)
2. Return skillet back to heat and add shredded potato. Cook 5-6 minutes or until potatoes are browned on first side. Add crumbled bacon evenly over top of potatoes, flip potatoes to cook other side.
3. Immediately make 4 wells in potatoes and crack a fresh egg into each well. Continue cooking until eggs are just set (4-5 minutes) and place on individual plates, separating eggs’ “nests”.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4


4 thinly sliced pieces of Prosciutto ham
4 thinly sliced pieces fresh Mozzarella
6 basil leaves, divided
4 Freshly laid eggs
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
Cooking spray

1. Heat oven to 350º.
2. Coat 4 ramekins or a cupcake pan with cook  
    ing spray. Drape 1 slice or ham into each hole.
3. Layer 1 slice of Mozzarella cheese onto ham slice in each ramekin and top with 1 basil leaf.
4. Crack fresh eggs into each ramekin. Place in oven for 15 minutes or until egg is set.
5. While eggs are baking, roll and thinly slice remaining basil leaves; set aside.
6. Remove baked eggs from oven and place 1 ramekin on each of 4 individual plates. Top with remaining sliced basil. Serve immediately.
Serves 4


This is a combination of both above recipes.

4 thinly sliced pieces of Prosciutto ham
11/3 cups cooked shredded potatoes
4 freshly laid eggs
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Cooking spray

1. Heat oven to 350º.
2. Coat 4 ramekins or cupcake pan with cooking spray and drape 1 slice of ham into each hole.
3. Spoon 1/3 cup shredded potato into the ramekin, making a well for the egg to rest.
4. Crack fresh eggs into each ramekin. Place in oven for 15 minutes or until egg is set.
5. Remove baked eggs from oven and place 1 ramekin on 4 individual plates. Season to taste. Serve immediately.
Serves 4

Text by Katherine Cobbs • Portrait Photography by Major Adam Colbert

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