There’s only one perfect ending to a hot summer day, and it often involves sprinkles, whipped cream and a cherry. And for the folks in Lyndonville, there’s now a place they can go to enjoy a refreshing treat.
While the grand opening of the Hojack Ice Cream Shack will take place Saturday, Barb and John Champlin been serving up sundaes and shakes at the location since May 1.
The Medina couple has owned and operated Champs Mini Mart on Route 104 in Ridgeway and the EZ Shop on North Main Street in Lyndonville for more than a decade. They have been serving ice cream to residents in Lyndonville at the EZ Shop for a number of years, and had also been thinking about opening a separate ice cream business.
John Champlin explained that the biggest sellers at the convenience store are beer, pop, gas and ice. However, during the summertime, there had been so many people coming in to get ice cream that it put off
their regular customers who were just trying to get in and out.
“During the busy days — hot days, and with baseball — it was crazy there,” said Barb Champlin. “There was nowhere to park.”
With the new location, the couple are able to provide more of an ice cream experience.
“It’s a place to come to ... more of a destination,” said John Champlin. “It’s truly a family thing.”
The Champlins purchased 1 1/2 acres on North Main Street, across from the Lyndonville Fire Department, where the old mill building used to stand.
“We tried everything in our power to save it,” Barb Champlin said of the historic structure. She explained that the couple purchased the property more than a year ago and had been trying to figure out a way to use the building. “It just wasn’t economically feasible,” she said.
They did, however, keep a tall stone structure in the rear of the property, to leave a little history. They are thinking of turning it into a pavilion next year, as well as adding picnic tables and other items to make the location more of a park setting. They would also like to host cruise nights and other special events in the future.
The transition of serving customers from the convenience store to the Ice Cream Shack went smoothly, according to Barb Champlin. “We just expanded the menu, and added flavors,” she said.
In addition to traditional ice cream, the shack also serves cooleez and gelatis. They purchased a machine from New Orleans that creates shaved ice/soft snow treats, called cooleez; layer that with soft serve ice cream and you get gelatis.
John Champlin said their prices are very reasonable. “We did our homework” when figuring out the prices, he explained.
While the duo can often be found dishing out treats at the shack — Barb at the ice cream window and John serving hots and hamburgers at the Snack Shack — they also employ 10 local high school and college students.
“The Lyndonville people and (baseball) teams have been very supportive of us over the years,” said John Champlin. “That’s why we were able to expand. ... With the way the economy is, we’re very thankful of their support.”
The grand opening celebration will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Ice Cream Shack, 151 N. Main St., Lyndonville. There will be $1 hot dogs, $1.50 small ice cream cones, a dunk tank from noon to 5 p.m. featuring a “special guest,” a bounce house, face painting, a clown and other events.