MIKE SPRINGER/Gloucester Daily Times
Amy Ahearn pours fresh caramel into a mixing machine to make a batch of Salty "C" ice cream Tuesday at Down River Ice Cream in Essex. Ahearn and her husband, Joe, make all their own ice cream using premium ingredients in the shop, located on Route 133 on the Essex side of the Ipswich-Essex border. The couple fixed up an old lobster shack to start the business six years ago, after becoming fascinated in the fresh ice cream-making process while traveling in Europe. "We're in it for the passion more than the profit," says Amy. The store will open for the season this Saturday, March 15.