Best Day Ever; July 16 Is National Ice Cream Day, and throughout the Region, Anyone in the Market for a Cool Treat Is in Luck. [Derived Headline]

By Varine, Patrick | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 15, 2017 | Go to article overview

Best Day Ever; July 16 Is National Ice Cream Day, and throughout the Region, Anyone in the Market for a Cool Treat Is in Luck. [Derived Headline]


Varine, Patrick, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


July 16 is National Ice Cream Day, and throughout the region, anyone in the market for a cool treat is in luck.

At Peaches 'n Cream in Greensburg, patrons can try a unique Clark-Bar-and-banana ice cream. At Parkside Creamery in Trafford, general manager Ronda LaGorga offers homemade toasted almond fudge ice cream. At Mr. B's in Latrobe, Creamsicle frozen yogurt is one of the biggest sellers.

And of course, the twin titans of traditional ice cream -- chocolate and vanilla -- are always on offer.

Mr. B's owner Sandy Kozlesky had a taste for the business long before she and her husband decided to buy their own.

"Mr. B's has been around since 1976, so we already loved the products and we knew it was a viable business," Kozlesky says.

While many locally owned, "mom-and-pop"-style businesses have been challenged by the rise of chain stores, neighborhood ice cream parlors seem to be an exception.

"No matter how bad the economy gets, and no matter how much business is driven out of a town, no parent is going to say no to a child who wants a $1.50 ice cream cone," Kozlesky says.

Mike Boros, owner at Emmerling Ice Cream in Cheswick, got into the business in 2009 when an opportunity arose shortly after he graduated from college.

"Everybody likes ice cream," Boros says. "You could open up a pizza place, but maybe not everyone likes that type of pizza. But ice cream is almost a universal thing."

Emmerling's regularly changes up its soft-serve flavors of the week, the most popular being black raspberry and pistachio.

"We also make our own hard ice cream, and birthday cake and cookies'n'cream seem to be the best sellers," he says.

They also do seasonal flavors. Several local shops offer a pumpkin ice cream when fall rolls around, including Emmerling's and Parkside Creamery.

"We'll make just about anything anyone wants," says LaGorga.

When Peaches 'n Cream owner Dave Peach has a new flavor idea, he makes a small batch and tests it out on his staff.

"We've had some successes and some failures," he says. "I've invented a few flavors. We have a mango cream, which is pretty unique."

As for celebrating National Ice Cream Day, everyone has their own plan.

"We haven't decided yet," LaGorga says. "We'll probably figure it out on Saturday, once I get together with the owners."

Kozlesky says Mr. B's is cultivating a little mystery around their promotion.

"We have a big surprise for our customers, but I can't reveal it right now," she says.

Peach says he doesn't plan to do anything special to celebrate.

"Our ice cream is special every day," he says.

Boros says the appeal of local ice cream parlors is their strong roots in the communities they serve.

"I don't know too many places, even mom-and-pop places, where people go after an event," he says. "Even after dinner, especially on a nice summer night. People aren't ready to go home. There's always something there for them. You don't hear many people say they don't like ice cream."

Patrick Varine is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

So many ways to celebrate

Whether you enjoy your ice cream in a bowl or cone, plain or topped, grab your friends and family and help celebrate National Ice Cream Day on July 16. …

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