NORTH KINGSTOWN—Taking a stop by the Oak Harbour Village Shopping Center off South County Trail in Exeter, one will see a unique monument standing in front of the newly established Kiki’s Udderly Cool Ice Cream Shop; a painted cow. The bovine statue has been a giant topic of conversation for customers, and owner Michelle Fabricant is excited to see people enjoying both the ice cream and the cow’s detailed painted body.
“We love our cow!” said Fabricant. “She is called Miss Rhody and has hidden landmarks painted all over her. People have come pretty close to getting all of them identified.”
There are multiple images of landmarks and icons reminiscent of the ‘Ocean State, on Miss Rhody, from the quahog to Narragansett’s Towers. Bob Marcello of the Oak Harbour Village Shopping Center has been impressed.
“It is amazing,” said Marcello. “Everyone is photographing it, and every time you look at it, you find something new about Rhode Island.”
“[Miss Rhody] is something true Rhode Islanders can appreciate,” he added. “It is a really cool piece.”
The story behind Miss Rhody’s journey to Oak Harbour Village is an winding one which began in Chicago when Fabricant purchased her.
Although many people arrive to see the painted cow, more are finding out that there is an ice cream shop not far away.
“We were living in Chicago in 1999 when a blank, unpainted cow came up for sale on eBay,” said Fabricant. “I bid on her and had her shipped to New Hampshire where my husband and I owned and operated the Downtown Market Grille in Wolfeboro.”
“She has been stored for all that time,” she continued. “When we found this site for an ice cream shop in Oak Harbour Village, I knew she would be perfect!”
Fabricant put out an ad soliciting artists to paint Miss Rhody, and two Rhode Island School of Design graduates, Art of Life muralists Charles Chase, III and Bonnie Turner, responded.
Although crowds have been gathering around Miss Rhody for the last two weeks since Fabricant opened, the ice cream shop has been drawing customers to stay a little longer with its diverse and dietary-conscious menu.
“We offer premium, hard pack ice cream as well as real soft serve,” said Fabricant. “We also offer a non-fat soft serve yogurt and dairy-free soft serve. We realize that there are many different dietary concerns with our customer base and have tried to address those needs.”
There is still room, however, for ice cream of the more tasteful variety.
“We aim to become a destination for not just ice cream, but for our other unique items,” said Fabricant. “We have a pop bar, where we make our own ice cream pops, dip them in chocolate or one of our other five coatings, and then roll them in a variety of toppings such as nuts, Oreo crumbs or sprinkles.”
She continued, “We also have a nut roaster and roast cinnamon sugar glazed almonds, cashews or pecans daily. Our customers love the warm roasted nuts and the shop always smells wonderful!”
They even make their own marshmallows for homemade s’mores. Fabricant is excited for the opportunity to serve customers great ice cream while Miss Rhody looks on.
“We have a wonderful location in the Oak Harbour Village,” said Fabricant. “We are having the best time here at KiKi’s!”
For more information about Kiki’s Udderly Cool Ice Cream, visit their website at www..kikisicecream.com .