PLATTSBURGH — The North Country summer temperatures have been climbing as of lately, a heat wave that local ice cream eateries have been enjoying.
At IceBurgh Creamery on Tom Miller Road in Plattsburgh, the summer has so far been about increasing visibility for the business that started in 2017, an endeavor helped by the business taking part in the city’s Fourth of July parade.
“I think the parade was huge for us,” said Anne Bouyea, manager and part owner of IceBurgh.
“Even that afternoon we had people coming in, saying, ‘We didn’t even know you were back here.’’
Now in their third summer in business next to Pizza Palace, they’re still focusing on setting themselves apart, often by coming up with new specialty sundaes with ingredients they have on hand.
“Last year we ‘invented’ our peanut butter explosion sundae, and we just did it the week we had peanut butter as flavor of the week,” Bouyea said.
“They become so popular, that we manage to keep a lot of them on the menu all the time.”
While the colder, rainier weather at the start of the ice cream season hurt business a bit, Bouyea said, the recent hot weather combined with schools letting out for summer at the end of June led to a jump.
“This year it’s busier, so it’s been about being more organized with what we have on stock and what we need,” Bouyea said. “Each year we’re getting better at it.”
Franklin County ice cream hotspot Bokie’s Drive-In in Malone also saw the negative effects of colder weather earlier in the year.
“Once the weather warmed up it was good,” said Carrie Marshall Boulais, owner and manager of Bokie’s.
“July was great for us.”
While Bokie’s also serves a variety of fast food items, ice cream has been part of the foundation of the business since Marshall Boulais purchased and re-opened the restaurant in 2011.
“We have wonderful local customers,” Marshall Boulais said.
“We’re even getting repeat out-of-towners that stop when travelling.”
Marshall Boulais has taken advantage of social media to boost business, with some customers even messaging her if the ice cream and food specials still aren’t up on the restaurant’s Facebook page when the afternoon rolls around.
Marshall Boulais said that customers have even started asking about the restaurant’s pumpkin milkshakes, though they won’t be coming until September.
“People get excited about them every year,” she said.
West Plattsburgh ice cream mainstay Harrigan’s Soft Ice Cream also saw an uptick in business once the cooler June came to pass.
“It was cold until the middle of June, so that didn’t help,” Peter Harrigan said.
“We survived because we’ve been here 60 years.”
Return customers are a big part of Harrigan’s business, and a part that he enjoys.
“We’re serving fourth generations now,” Harrigan said.
“It’s pretty special.”
That’s not to say that there haven’t been new faces, bolstered by the stand’s social media presence in recent years.
“We’ve seen a ton of new people,” Harrigan said.
“Every spring, college kids will come in, and then when they come back in the fall they’ll bring in new people we haven’t seen before, which is a great thing too.”
And in their 60th year, Harrigan plans on keeping things chugging along until they close for the season in mid-September.
“This year we didn’t introduce anything new, but we just keep on going, trying to have the best customer service we can,” Harrigan said.
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