O Town Ice Cream features flavors named for Opelika people, places
By Rebekah Martin
Angela George is giving downtown Opelika “the scoop” on ice cream. Chunky Monkey Park, Pepperell Pralines, Main Street Mint Chocolate Chip, BigHouse Bubblegum and Spring Villa Vanilla are a few of the flavors George’s O Town Ice Cream offers – all named after iconic Opelika and Alabama people and places.
The mother of three started the business with her husband Chris after seeing how downtown Opelika could benefit from a old-time ice cream parlor. “We wanted to get in the business of making people happy,” George said. “And ice cream makes people happy.”
O Town Icecream is currently in its cart phase, but will soon move to a brick-and-mortar location slated to open in the fall. Its presence will be seen, and tasted, at summer events. For the summer, Red Clay Brewery will serve as O Town Ice Cream’s base, as the cart will be set up there every Friday and Saturday nights from 6-10 p.m. George and Red Clay have teamed up to offer customers root beer floats for children and freshly-brewed stout floats for adults.
George said a lot of thought and consideration went into naming the ice cream flavors. “We wanted the names to mean something,” George said. “We wanted grandparents to say ‘I want to take you to get some ‘Pepperell Pralines’ because I worked at the mill for 40 years,’ – we wanted the names to spark conversation and to reflect Opelika’s history.” The flavors mostly represent Opelikans and iconic places around town, but some, like Forrest Gump French Vanilla and Selma I Have A Dream-Cicle are named after movies filmed in Alabama.
George credits her childhood and her memories of walking to an ice cream parlor in Fall River, Massachusetts with the inspiration to pursue O Town Ice Cream. She said she hopes to see the business grow and become a staple of the downtown area.
“I’d like it to become the heart of downtown, a gathering place for all ages and somewhere people come for their first dates,” George said. “We want to stay open late during football season and be the place the football players and cheerleaders come after games.”
A scoop or cone of the Opelika-themed dessert sells for $3. A percentage of proceeds of each flavor will be donated to its namesake. For example, the Opelika Parks and Recreation Department will receive a monthly donation from the proceeds of the Chunky Monkey Park ice cream, and BigHouse will benefit from the sales of BigHouse Bubblegum. George said she hopes more options, including floats and sundaes, will become a reality when the business is relocated to its store front.
“This isn’t just us selling ice-cream. This is us providing ice-cream for the community,” George said. “We want to make sure we are always providing a service to people. This was a way to do that.”
George and her family left Opelika briefly to move to Norcross, Ga. in September 2013, but immediately wanted to return to Opelika and make it their home again. They moved back last summer with the determination to get more involved in the community and take advantage of all that Opelika has to offer.
“You can live in the best, most pristine place in the world and without community, you don’t have anything,” George said. “We realized that very quickly – what we missed about Opelika was the people and the support that we had – the friends. Opelika is a gem.”