Photos by SuperSource Media, LLC.
A TRULY JOYFUL tall ice cream cone creates a sense of wonder. Passing it with precision through the window, it is a seemingly impossible feat full of mystery: these amazingly smooth and elegantly swirled soft serve sweets simply don’t topple.
Putting together how it is done begins with the family that has been serving soft serve ice cream and other frozen delights at Humpty Dumpty’s Ice Cream for 50 years.
“This is all I know. It’s just a way of life,” said owner
The Better Side of Glorious
Sitting close to one another in the back of their SUV, a white-haired couple swing their feet as they enjoy their treats. A young boy is completely occupied with his cone, eating so steadily it has no time to melt and drip, even on this 90 degree afternoon.
“Ice cream is a happy thing. It makes customers happy and that makes you feel good,” said Brenda.
Her grandparents, Pete and Shirley Bishop bought the shop in 1968 and ran it until her parents, Ronald and Jean Bishop took it over in 1974, when Brenda was just two-years-old.
By the time she was 10, Brenda’s cousin was picking her up afterschool and bringing her to the shop so she could help make subs and refill containers. When her parents retired in 2014, Brenda and her husband, Jason Jennings became the shop’s co-owners. Having employed at least 60 people since her family took over, at least half of those have been relatives, making it a real family-run business, she said.
Serving Up That Certain Something
The feeling of being part of that family is part of the reason why, generation after generation, people have enjoyed a nice respite from the hot summer sun with Humpty Dumpty’s soft serve under their covered pavilion.
Inside, the 80’s music is cranked up as the staff prepares items from a menu that has changed only slightly since its inception. Still serving their original six special flavors, there is a variety of delicious toppings and pictures posted in the windows of unique items, making selection easier for customers.
Brenda’s grandparents invented two of the shop’s most enduringly popular items today; the Romeo, a hot fudge sundae parfait, and the delectably layered upside-down banana split.
Brenda credits the simplicity and consistency of their products as one of the reasons why people keep coming back.
“I’m trying not to change too much. I don’t like change. Why change a good thing that’s worked for 50 years?” she said.
Recent additions to the menu include hot dogs and the Twisted Turtle, a salted caramel soft serve flavor.
Humpty Dumpty’s Ice Cream, 70 West Avenue, Saratoga Springs is open until August 31st, Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cash only (there is an ATM onsite).