The people of Shepherdstown now have a sweeter reason to love their town.
With the opening of The Mountaineer Ice Cream Company on Princess Street, people can have hand-dipped ice cream by just walking around town. Originally, the shop was set up in a trailer outside the Wal-Mart in Martinsburg. Recently, the tiny trailer expanded to a shop located in Shepherdstown. Even though it has been open for less than two months, Manager Vanessa Steingass said business has been booming.
"Even on our slowest days, we still get around 100 people," said Steingass.
Besides ice cream, the shop offers other food, from hot dogs and nachos to soups that are changed from day to day. They also recently started serving coffee. Steingass hopes to have other menu items like pulled pork BBQ sandwiches added to the menu soon. When asked about potential competition from the Dairy Queen in construction a few miles away, Steingass wasn't worried.
"The big difference between Dairy Queen and us is that we serve actual hand-dipped ice cream and not just soft served," said Steingass.
One of the biggest challenges for ice cream shops is trying to stay open all year long. In recent years, several ice cream shops in the area have closed due to bad business. Along with adding coffee and other food items, Steingass is looking at another strategy to keep customers flying in.
"As the seasons change, we'll introduce different flavors to coincide with the changing weather," Steingass said.
Currently, the Mountaineer Ice Cream Company has five employees, including two from Shepherd University. Though they are not hiring right now, Steingass is looking to increase the number of employees in the near future once she gets the okay from her employers.