McMahon and his wife opened McMahon’s Ice Cream in February 2017 after the pair saw that a lot of frozen yogurt shops were opening, but not many old-fashioned ice cream shops.
“We make everything on-site, and we make everything ourselves,” McMahon said. “We make the ice cream in small batches.”
McMahon said before beginning the ice cream shop, he was “a bit of a home chef” when it came to ice cream. He said working at the store has made him a master of the craft. He comes up with all the flavors and concoctions himself.
He works at the shop full-time with his daughter and a couple of other part-time employees.
McMahon said the ice cream is one part of the equation at McMahon’s, but the other part is the family experience.
The business usually has games for kids and families and a spinning wheel that people can spin for a chance to win free ice cream.
“It’s about the experience; we want people to bring their kids out for a good scoop of ice cream and stay for the experience,” McMahon said.
Some of that has changed since the coronavirus pandemic hit and caused ripples in the community for weeks and months—including causing businesses like McMahon’s to take extra safety precautions such as social distancing and limiting the number of people who can sit inside the establishment.
“We had no one coming into the store; our business was down to 30% of what it usually was during spring break—and that’s usually when business picks up for us,” McMahon said.
McMahon got creative and used the McMahon’s Ice Cream food truck to go out to neighborhoods on the weekends and saw more people than he expected during those times. But McMahon said he recently sold the truck due to rising summer temperatures and an inability to keep the ice cream cold. The transaction also netted him cash that he said the business could use right now.
Business has gotten a little better as the weather began to hit triple digits in the Valley, McMahon said, but still not where it would be in a typical year.
“The timing of all this couldn’t have been worse for us,” McMahon said. “But I’m grateful we at least have the ability to be open right now.”