By Morgan Smith
Every town has a go to spot for exactly what you want. Your favorite place to eat, shop or just relax. When deciding where to go, those establishments are first to come to mind. For a sweet treat here in Girdwood there’s only one place that we think about, The Ice Cream Shop.
For over seventeen years, the wonderful staff of the shop have been serving the community of Girdwood and any other passers by wanting a tasty treat. This adorable sugar refuge was started by Carol Makar and her late husband Bud Gibbs. Prior to the opening, Carol went for a run and saw the vacant store front. She had dreamed of owning her own ice cream parlor after working in a Dairy Queen as a vivacious 21 year old.
She said she had so much fun as a young woman that she just wanted to experience that joy again. So she went home and told Bud, “I either want a dog or an ice cream shop, you choose.” A few days later Bud was contacting the leasing agent of the vacant storefront and here we are, seventeen years and counting.
Not only did Bud help her bring her dream to fruition, but he also helped with all the little details of making it into exactly what she’d dreamed of. They refurbished dip cabinets purchased from other establishments, built and rebuild little step ups for children to get that eyeful of over thirty different types of hard ice cream and so much more.
Listening to Makar retell the story, you understand her passion for The Ice Cream Shop and her staff there within. No matter the age of the patron, Carol strives to make all feel welcome and her wonderful staff follows that cue. The staffs consists of 8 members: Carmen Graves, Jackie Archer, Kira Casselman, America Loberg, Seth Foister, Elyssa Specht, and returning for Christmas will be Piper Sage and Leila Bond. Their warm attitudes will make you leave wanting more.
“We’re all in this together. We are all different. Each of us has a unique gift that we share with each other. We appreciate each other’s efforts and talents,” said Carol lovingly.
April 26, 2001 was opening day. Makar said they had thought of everything, and she was overjoyed to finally be sharing her passion.
Then one of the first customers asked for a banana split and she realized she didn’t have a knife. A friend of Makar’s waiting for his turn in line pulled out a pocket knife and problem solved. She was laughing as she reminisced about this moment. The memories she was sharing were lighting up her face and you could feel the overwhelming sense of elation she felt in that moment and it was precious.
I asked the staff of eight what their favorite thing about working at The Shop was. Their responses varied but had one thing in common; they loved the joy of the customer as they received their tasty treat.
“I love being able to be a part of a great team,” Jackie Archer exclaimed. “They are so fun and quirky. They make the super busy summer nights a breeze to get through. And of course, the occasional free ice cream here and there. Also Carol is a great boss to work for. Her kind heart and positivity is such a great asset for our team. You can really tell she puts her heart and soul into this place!”
If you didn’t already have enough of a reason to get a scoop or a pint, starting Nov. 27 through Feb. 26, 2019, every Tuesday The Shop will have 10 percent off ice cream products, which includes cones, dishes, sundaes, milkshakes, floats, including ice cream floating in favorite coffee drink or hot chocolate. You can also look forward to updated hoodies and tee shirts with Beanies added into the lineup.
During these cold winter months when you want something sweet and not cold don’t forget, The Shop serves ice cream floating in warm coffee or hot chocolate and topped with whipped cream. Carol also created the Glacier. It’s ginger cinnamon ice cream floating in a mocha. The shop also has varied specialty drink through the year, so there’s no wrong time to stop in.
The Ice Cream Shop
Tesoro Mall, MP 90 Girdwood
10 a.m.-9 p.m.
daily during winter