ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) — We’ve been having warm–almost hot–weather so far this week. You can now cool off with a scoop of decadent Dairyhaus ice cream.
The sweet shop re-opened Tuesday for the first time in over a year and a half. The owner tells us that it feels good to be back.
“It’s in my blood, it’s something that I need to do,” said Dairyhaus Co-Owner Brent Murray.
For the first time in almost a year and a half, Dairyhaus owner Brent Murray welcomed customers to his downtown Rockton shop. The ice cream parlor last took in-person orders in December 2019.
“2020 did not make a lot of sense for us to open as a traditional ice cream shop,” said Murray.
Murray says the pandemic forced him to get creative to keep consistent business coming in. He says he focused on wholesale orders with both local and big-box grocery stores.
“Schnucks picked us up just about a year ago now, and that really took off. Having the Schnucks here in Roscoe and also in Loves Park to support us, it just went absolutely phenomenally,” Murray explained.
But he says nothing can compare to seeing crowds lined up outside the store.
“Being shut down for 2020 and figuring that stuff out, yes, it was invigorating, but to welcome people back to our ice cream shop, it’s what I live for,” Murray added.
After a year without a trip to Dairyhaus, customers were eager to get a scoop of their favorite flavor.
“I like chocolate, so I got their ‘Lotsa Chocolate.’ It’s got chocolate chips, brownie pieces, and oreo in it,” said Caitlin Porter.
One customer was Chuck Gilbert, the shop’s original owner. He says he is happy to see the business continue to thrive, despite the challenges of the last year.
“It means a lot that this business is still successful. It’s the focus of downtown Rockton, which brings a lot of people from out of town as well as in town and the surrounding area. So to see a line like this is true to my heart, and it’s proud that this is still going strong,” said Gilbert.