Spring is in the air, and Dairy Creme Corner fans are already craving their favorite ice cream treats.
Fortunately they don’t have long to wait.
The popular Fairmont eatery will reopen March 18 after a usual winter hiatus.
They’ll once again offer popular goodies like pepperoni rolls and funnel cakes.
It’s big news on social media where folks chat about how to survive the next three weeks.
One loyal customer joked she was thinking about breaking in, and a man asks who will be first in line when it reopens.
Manager Aly Arcure shares their excitement about opening day for her family business, especially since seeing so many Facebook posts from loyal customers.
“I’m hoping the weather will be as nice as the last couple of days because it has been 70 degrees. But you never know what to expect and last year it snowed,” she said.
A lot has changed since her inlaws, John and Jean Arcure, opened the shop 30 years ago off Interstate 79’s downtown Fairmont exit.
“We still have people who just wander in from the interstate and I just love when that happens. I call them happy accidents because they like our food even though it was luck that brought them to us. And in many cases it becomes a tradition when they are back in the area,” she said.
A large part of the business’ continuing appeal is that things are pretty much the same year after year.
Families still come to celebrate good report cards, local athletes stop after winning or even losing a ball game and local folks enjoy running into their neighbors.
“It’s really a good feeling to be part of so many peoples’ lives and their summers. This is definitely where my heart is and where we’ve planted our roots,” she said.
Good food, including hot dogs featuring sauce made from a family recipe topped with coleslaw, is another draw. Country Club Bakery pepperoni rolls are popular and can be topped with sauce, peppers and provolone cheese.
Other popular entrees include nacho salad, Italian submarine, baked potato with cheese and bacon, homemade soup served in a bread bowl, crispy chicken wings and beer-battered onion rings.
Known for its huge servings, newcomers are often surprised by the size of a large ice cream cone.
“Our large cone is truly a feat of architecture. If you can imagine the rings on a cone, our large cone has nine rings and people are shocked by how big it is. Our new girls are usually pretty intimidated in the beginning about making a large cone but they learn to just keep twirling it around,” she said.
Traditional chocolate and vanilla soft serve are popular, but the black raspberry soft serve is a crowd pleaser each summer.
Customers’ tastes help drive the menu, including the addition of a no sugar added alternative to ice cream which is now offered in a scoopable product.
She and her husband Mike decided to take his brother’s advice and add some cereal to their avalanche offering which allows customers to choose something to mix into their ice cream.
“I wasn’t too sure at first. But lo and behold five years later the fruity Pebbles avalanche is one of the top sellers among classics like Oreo and banana split,” she said.
“Overall people are getting more adventuresome and we try to help them with that. I love when they find a new favorite.”
Friendly service is a hallmark, and that stems from a close relationship among employees.
“We are truly a family and we are vested in one another’s lives. We want them to succeed as they move along and quite often they come back to let us know how things are going. Many who started on my watch are now mothers themselves,” she said.
“It is actually a privilege and a gift to be able to share their lives with them. I just love it when they come up to the window or stop when they are back in the area.”