The family-owned Island Creamery is set to open just its third location this upcoming summer across the street from the Salisbury University campus.
The company announced via Facebook post that the new location will be on Dogwood Drive across from the Guerrieri Student Union. Island Creamery which has been open since 1975, specializes in homemade ice cream with its main location in Chincoteague, Va.
The location was previously utilized by frozen yogurt store TCBY, until it was announced that they would be relocating to Route 13 directly next to Thirsty’s. This addition to the Salisbury community continues the trend of frozen desert shops, joining the new TCBY location as well as South Pole Ice Cream Roll located in Sea Gull Square.
The well-known ice cream parlor branched out to a second location almost a year ago in 2017 with the opening of a shop in Berlin, Md. Before that opening Island Creamery had been running through one store for 42 years. Kelly Conklin, who owns the shop along with his wife Robin, said the third location was more unexpected.
“We branched out to Berlin because we had family members that wanted to be involved in the business, it was just a little tough working all-together in one store,” Conklin said. “That opened our minds to the possibility of a third store.”
The Conklin’s had planned to wait on the third store for at least another year until a drive through Salisbury gave them an opportunity they could not pass up.
“We happened to go by Dogwood Drive to see if TCBY was still there and the store was empty, I couldn’t believe it. So I called that landlord and we talked and we ended up renting it,” Conklin said. “We just think it’s a great location for what we do, and that’s how it came about.”
The third location continues the trend of staying close to home roots, as Conklin explained his family has been local throughout the community with his son and family running the Berlin store.
Numerous members of Conklin’s family are Salisbury alumni giving them a history in the community. With that experience, there was a greater draw with the possibility of being right next to the SU campus.
“We always thought it would be a neat place to have a store…and there’s not much homemade ice cream in the area,” Conklin said. “There’s thousands of university students, there’s a nice neighborhood along the college.”
According to the post made on Facebook, the company hopes to be up and running by early June and is already welcoming applications for those interested in employment. The location puts Island Creamery directly next to the plaza that houses Hopper’s Tap House along with multiple other restaurants.
Conklin felt that Island Creamery could bring a unique brand to the community, with the concept of homemade ice cream and their utilization of local companies for a variety of flavors as well.
Another aspect of the company is that it is family-grown, started in 1975 by Conklin’s parents, Bob and Nancy, and continuing down the line. The owners are incredibly eager to continue that brand to Salisbury, but Conklin admits his plan is not on a national scale.
“We really have no desire to grow big, we’re not going to be some big chain of stores,” Conklin said. “We want to make sure that we treat people right, that we get it right and that we take care of customers. It’s just a better feeling knowing that you have a family member who’s there and will make sure that happens.”
While the aim is for June, Conklin says that there is no official opening date, but has already begun prepping to enter the new store. If that optimistic hope is met, Island Creamery will have a large amount of time before the school year begins in late August.
By CHASE GORSKI
Featured photo: Island Creamery’s Virginia location (TripAdvisor image).