It’s the best time of the year, ice cream season! And if you’re in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Main Street Creamery is a must lick. We talked to the owner, Bulent Sag, who gave us the scoop on how their small business started and even some cool tips – like how to perfect the perfect twist. It’s a sweet summer read no matter where you’re from!
1. Tell us about how Main Street Creamery began.
Main Street Creamery started in 2004. I was thinking about getting into the business for a while, and when the perfect building became available, I took the leap. Now, I can’t imagine my life without this shop.
2. What’s on the menu?
We have all your main food groups at Main Street Creamery: soft serve, hard ice cream, birthday cakes, vegan alternatives and the largest variety of milkshakes. We offer more than 50 flavors of ice cream and all the toppings you can dream of.
3. How many gallons of ice cream do you go through per week?
Now that’s a fun question. We go through around 350 gallons to 450 gallons of ice cream a week. It all depends on the time of the year. During our busiest seasons, people will stand in line for 45 minutes to get our ice cream, which is still a very humbling thought.
4. Cone or dish?
Is that even a question? There is nothing like our homemade waffle cones – especially when they’re hot off the press. We’ve spent a lot of seasons testing new recipes, and I truly believe ours are the best around. So, if you stop in, definitely get a cone.
5. What’s something people don’t know about the ice cream industry?
There’s more science to it than one might think. It actually takes about 12 pounds of milk to produce just one gallon of ice cream. But there isn’t just one ice cream recipe that fits all. You’ve probably had grainy or watery ice cream before. You need to get the percentage of air, milk fat and other ingredients just right. It’s our job to create the perfect creamy consistency.
6. Okay, we can only get one ice cream, what are we ordering?
Look, we have so many kinds of funky flavors and monstrous sundaes to try, but our soft serve is just so good. I have to say you can’t leave the store without having a classic soft serve ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. It’s a must! But who says you can only get one?!
7. Are you open all year?
Oh yeah! Ice cream lovers are a different breed. We are open all year round. Our hours now are Sunday through Thursday, 12 PM to 11 PM, and Friday and Saturday, 12 PM to midnight. We only close on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Ice cream really is a year-round dessert!
8. Walk us through the perfect soft serve form.
There are a lot of different methods. We tilt the cone at an angle and rotate it and slowly start to decrease the angle as the ice cream stacks up instead of revolving the cone around the spout. This helps the ice cream from falling over and gives you that perfect spiral look.
9. What’s your favorite thing about owning a small business?
The customers! I mean you’re serving happiness. It’s so exciting to see a long line of people of all ages on a warm summer night. We even serve furry friends. But the smile on the kids’ faces when you serve them their ice cream is simply the best. They are so happy every time!
10. Does your business do anything special to support the community?
Yes! With a business like this where people come to celebrate, you must celebrate and support them too. Every year we donate to a local church’s sports teams and some of the local schools’ organizations. We love supporting our community!
11. To the dreamers out there thinking of opening a business, what would you tell them?
Just do it! If that’s what you love to do and you have the passion, then move forward. Just start small. That way if something doesn’t go as planned, you can recover. You don’t want to always wonder, what if I made the leap?
12. What are you looking forward to for the future of your small business?
We always strive to have the highest quality products and ice cream selection. We look forward to this summer’s season, of course (let’s hope it’s a sunny one!), and adding some new flavors to our menu. Any guesses?
Anyone else craving a cone now? Find Main Street Creamery on our virtual Small Business Spotlight Shop, at mainstcreamery.com or at 4191 Main Street in Bridgeport, Connecticut. We’ll save you a spot in line!