By Morgan Bryce
Chris and Angela George of O Town Ice Cream have announced major expansion plans for their business this summer.
In an Instagram post last week, the couple announced that they plan to relocate from their downtown Opelika location to 700 2nd Ave, owned by Bubba’s Pharmacy owner Jeff Jerkins.
Until renovations on the new shop are completed later this year, Angela said that they have plans to keep their business going this summer through opening a mini-shop inside Cyberzone, running a “Float Boat” on Lake Martin the week of July 4 and appearing at pop-up events at Bubba’s Pharmacy and J&M Bookstore under the name of Auburn’s legendary “Sani-Freeze” ice cream parlor.
“When you’re graduating high school there is pain … you look back on your memories. One of our employees actually just said, ‘I feel like my high school memories are all in this place,‘ (and) well, they are,” Angela said. “This is where they started. We started with the cart, we grew into one location and now this summer we are going to be at one, two, three, four locations, and then we’ll be adding a fifth with the Bubba’s building.”
Cyberzone co-owner Elaine Bak said she is excited for O Town to become a mainstay at her business this summer.
“We are super excited about having O Town ice cream here with us. We’ve always worked together in the past, sending customers from each location to the other, and now we will be able to have our customers come together with entertainment, dining, and the beloved community-named ice cream,” Bak said.
Leaving downtown was a difficult decision to make, according to Angela, but necessary for their business moving forward.
“…with O Town ice cream, our desire was really to be in the heart of downtown. We loved the idea of it,” Angela said. “We’ve loved what it has done for us, and the amount of money and the amount of time that I’ve put into that building, I knew that it would be a very hard decision, heart wise, for me, because of the vision that I had at the beginning when we first opened this up.”
Angela added that they have officially purchased the trademark rights to the Sani-Freeze name, a legendary Auburn ice cream parlor they helped revive nearly two years ago.
“I talked with the (Hunt) family, the original owners of the shop, called them and told them that we were really interested in going for it. We didn’t want someone else to get it that didn’t care about (Sani-Freeze’s) history and the original family,” Angela said. “This is our way of honoring the historic value that Sani-Freeze has with the Auburn community, university and the students who have attended there.”
The concept of community-themed ice creams will also continue, as Angela said that they will create flavors made to honor important people and places in both Auburn and Lake Martin.
A farewell party for the downtown location will be held all day Friday and Saturday.
Friday’s theme will be “TGIF,” and include music, sidewalk chalk for children as well as T-shirt and Instagram giveaways.
On Saturday, the downtown location’s final day of operation, the theme will be “Sidewalk Chalk Saturday.” Visitors will have the opportunity to write goodbye messages to the shop on the South Railroad Avenue sidewalk and take pictures with the shop’s iconic Opelika-themed mural inside.
For more information or updates, like and follow O Town Ice Cream’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Later this summer, a partnership will be announced between O Town Ice Cream and Jerkins’ “Scoop’s Real Italian Ice.” Check the Observer weekly for details.