The love of ice cream has been in our family for generations. Mark’s great grandpa made ice cream for family and friends the old fashioned way, with a hand crank and pure muscle. In more recent times, we have made small batches, using an electric freezer, for celebrations and just for the pure joy of eating and sharing this delicious treat.
Mark’s first taste of ice cream came at a very early age…when a close family friend slipped him a taste of mint chocolate chip at seven months old. He LOVED it-and so the journey began.
Dairy is in Mark’s blood. Mark grew up on a dairy farm that has been in his family for four generations. He has experienced the joy and hard work of caring for over 500 animals 365 days a year and striving for the highest quality product possible. Mark’s father, Ed, is a true role model for the value of hard work, humility, and striving for excellence. There is no doubt that Mark inherited these character traits and will put his whole heart into the ice cream business!
How did Mark’s passion for ice cream become a potential business venture? Several factors worked together to spark his interest. The first is his before-mentioned connection to the dairy industry. Secondly, as young children, Mark and his sisters listened to audio stories about a man who had an ice cream parlor. Running the ice cream parlor gave the owner many opportunities to build relationships with his customers and share his faith, which resonated with Mark. Finally, in high school, Mark was asked to write a paper about a future goal, so he chose to write about opening an ice cream shop. Who could have guessed that researching and dreaming about this venture would prompt him to make it a reality?
Mark’s Homemade came on the scene in 2016 when Mark took a leap of faith and bought his first ice cream batch freezer (machine). After experimenting with the machine and a few flavors, we began taking special orders for batches of ice cream. (Chocolate ice cream was particularly difficult to perfect). People ordered ice cream for parties and cookouts, and we delivered it to them. In fact, Mark’s ice cream was a hit at his sister Lindsey’s wedding in July of 2016!
After meeting with our Advisory Team, we decided to go mobile and take the ice cream to the ice cream lovers instead of opening a brick and mortar shop. Being unique and creating our own recognizable brand was a priority. After much research, our first ice cream truck was purchased in December 2016. (See Our Truck Stories)
Following the remodel of the truck, Mark’s Homemade hit the ground running in late May 2017. Our name quickly spread due to a strong Facebook presence and word of mouth. Graduation parties, weddings, corporate and club events, festivals and other celebrations sought out the creamy, irresistible taste of Mark’s Homemade Ice Cream. The local Family Video parking lot was our go-to location, when events weren’t on the schedule.
Over the 2017 season, Mark’s Homemade Ice Cream developed a sizeable community following of people we refer to as “regulars.” Our loyal customer base continually grew through the months of operation. Oftentimes, customers came two, three, even four times a week to enjoy our ice cream. Creating an enjoyable experience for the customers helped us develop relationships. Our team makes a point of remembering the regular customers’ names. For example, one regular named Gene indulges in a dish of Butter Pecan ice cream once or twice a week. Another “regular” named Sage visits with her dad, Kevin, and always orders a double scoop of Vanilla and Cookies & Cream. Many of the regulars make a point of trying each of the many flavors offered throughout the season.
The Mark’s Homemade Ice Cream social media has grown a substantial following as well, receiving “5 Star” reviews, and positive feedback such as the following:
“Great service, always friendly! Awesome ice cream! Lots of flavors to choose from. Haven't had one that I haven't liked!”
“Phenomenal flavors. Apple pie is delicious, and the peanut butter will have you wishing for some strawberry jam and bread. Mark's Ice Cream is a gift to our community. Don't pass up a chance to try them.”
With a quality product, exceptional customer service, and a welcoming environment, Mark’s Homemade Ice Cream differentiates itself from its competitors. Come see for yourself!