Marilyn and husband Trent McDonald knew exactly what would bring the small community of Silver Lake together – ice cream.
Following in the footsteps of her family, who ran an ice cream shop in town 40 years ago, they decided to open another shop and keep the name already familiar to many residents, Igloo.
Igloo Ice Cream Shop is located at 108 W. Main St., Silver Lake. Owner Marilyn McDonald hustled around the shop as vehicles quickly approached the business as the 3 p.m. grand opening struck the clock Wednesday.
“I just wanted a little shack,” McDonald said. “I’m not sure what crazy idea I had in my head that day, but here we are, ready to go.”
When she had to choose the type of ice cream, McDonald said she could have chosen a cheaper option, but she “went with the best.” Igloo Ice Cream Shop offers 20 different premium flavored ice creams from Wisconsin that will fluctuate throughout the six months they are open. Igloo also offers soft serve and hand dipped ice cream, no-sugar-added flavors, non-fat yogurt options, Italian ices, malts, shakes and sundaes.
“You can’t buy it just off the street, you have to come in to the store to get it,” McDonald said.
McDonald began planning for Igloo last July. She also owns the Subway in town, and she knew she wanted to place an ice cream shop in the vacant lot near the Subway. She said once the structure was built, and with the help of the couple’s son and their family friends, they structured the interior of the building, plumbing and all of the electrical work.
“We didn’t just have an ice cream business, but also a construction business,” McDonald said.
McDonald said she and the employees pushed very hard to get Igloo open for the beginning of spring and summer. Opening the business had its share of troubles, she said.
“Every time we turn around, we have a little hiccup,” McDonald said. “We just keep pushing on. We’re having a good time and once we get in the groove life will be easier.”
McDonald said Igloo is something entertaining for all ages. Their daily hours Monday through Thursday are 3 to 10 p.m.; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and they are open noon until 10 p.m. on Sundays.
“If someone pulls in at 10 p.m., we’re going to keep serving ice cream, it’s good stuff,” McDonald said. “It’s all about community, the town is so excited.”
McDonald’s stepfather, Doyle Heckaman, said naming the business was the easy part. His parents owned the first Igloo that opened in 1958 until 1975. He said when McDonald told him she wanted to open an ice cream shop, they talked about all of the memories and Igloo “still sounded like a good name.”
“Everyone remembers that name,” Heckaman’s sister, Diana Bedics, said. “It’s nice to have in a small town.”
Bedics remembers working in the first Igloo years ago. She worked from the time she was in seventh grade until she graduated. She worked from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and when the racetrack was open, she stayed until 1 in the morning.
Bedics’ husband, Paul “Shorty” Bedics, said an ice cream shop like this is something Silver Lake needs because there isn’t anything similar within 10 to 12 miles.
McDonald said opening Igloo has been a joint venture, with not only her husband but also with her stepfather involved. During her opening day, McDonald was rushing around the inside of the building preparing soft serve and hand dipped ice cream in homemade waffle cones and working with her employees to serve everyone as they arrived at both windows with a smile on her face and a greeting for each customer.
“I have 20 flavors of the best ice cream you’ve ever tasted in your life,” McDonald said.
(Story By The Times Union)