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Carlsbad Cities Community Food & Wine

Ice cream shop’s reception anything but chilly

CARLSBAD — I scream! You scream! We all scream for ice cream!

Carlsbad Village is screaming with joy for its newest storefront, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Celebrating their first State Street digs, franchise owners Marcus Weenig and Travis Campbell are “thrilled” to be selling the “world’s best ice cream,” in a community that “gives so much.”

Boasting 175 rotating flavors that fill cones, waffles, pops, sandwiches, banana boats, floats, sodas, smoothies and sundaes, the window-only confectionary has been well received by residents and tourists since its April opening.

As family and friends gather to “share memories,” the partners are delighted by the reception that “exceeded all expectations.”

“The community has welcomed us with open arms,” Campbell said. “We can feel the enthusiasm and passion for our ice cream when talking to our customers. We look forward to being part of local fundraisers, supporting local charities, and catering various celebrations for our neighbors.”

Touting a historical tradition of excellence, Weenig and Campbell admit that customers have sustained Handel’s reputation from “generation to generation” from its truly humble beginnings.

Alice Handel began serving ice cream from her husband’s gas station during the summer of 1945. Using homemade recipes, fresh ingredients, and fruits picked from her own backyard, the novelty refreshment captured the taste buds of many.

As the frozen indulgence travelled as a business enterprise from its home in Youngstown, Ohio, the family worked diligently to maintain its traditional homemade values. Successful to this day, franchises are strewn throughout California, including Encinitas, as well as Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Arizona and, of course, Ohio.

Handel’s has even been recognized in notable publications the likes of “The Ten Best of Everything” and “Everybody Loves Ice Cream.”

Made fresh daily, “one batch at a time,” with premium dairy products in machines exclusive to the family, Handel’s is dedicated to quality, a constant that attracted the partners into investing.

“We love Handel’s quality and flavor options,” Weenig said. “You can’t find such a variety of flavors anywhere else. People try it once and often say that it’s the best ice cream they’ve ever eaten.”

Training to learn how to make the “best ice cream on the planet,” takes place in Ohio.

Owners learn how to wake up at the crack of dawn as every morning at 6 a.m. sharp, machines churn milk products to output up to 40 batches of ice cream. Fifty flavors rotate daily with 125 in tow during the year. Flavors include familiar favorites like mint chocolate chip plus seasonal assortments and unusual flavors “you’ll only find at Handel’s.” And toppings, syrups and sundries are doled out in “fistfuls.”

Franchise owners are encouraged to send corporate new flavor ideas for testing. This year’s newbies included lemon pie, mud pie, and pineapple upside down cake. While Carlsbad may have its own future namesake, the partners love every flavor on the board.

“My favorite flavor is whatever I try next,” Weenig said. “You just can’t go wrong.”

The red, white and blue windowed store front once laid claim to a motor repair shop, a tactical repair shop and even a meat packing plant.

“The site went through many iterations,” Weeing said. “We literally transformed the building with electrical and plumbing upgrades required for our complex ice cream machines.”

“While the building needed TLC, we envisioned bringing the old school feel of a classic Handel’s to the Village,” Campbell said.

The duo signed a multi-year lease with plans to “be there a long time.”

“We’re involved,” Weenig said. “We’ve hired upwards of 50 employees including high school and college students, some working their first job. To be a part of the tradition of a good first job is to be a part of all facets of the community.”

Weening expressed his admiration for the Village with its “local touches.”

“Ice cream is a great collection point for locals to gather and see familiar faces,” he said. “We’re excited for tourists and locals to enjoy the Village’s new shops, restaurants and theaters. It’s great to be a part of the revamping of the entire area.”

“We plan on being a part of the many great events hosted in Carlsbad,” Campbell said. “It’s cool to watch people congregate. Everyone loves to take a walk to get ice cream.”

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