Mason’s Creamery: Serving the community

Mason’s Creamery: Serving the community

JESSE: Sports are
huge in Cleveland, so up until game time, you’ll
see people out walking. When the game starts, it is a
complete and utter ghost town. There’s just crickets. As soon as the game is
over, business as usual, probably a little bit
more busy if they won. I’m Jesse. HELEN: I’m Helen. JESSE: And we’re the owners of
Mason’s Creamery in Cleveland, Ohio. Specifically where we’re
at is in the neighborhood of Ohio City. HELEN: The community is amazing. JESSE: Residents have been here
since the 1970s or earlier. SPEAKER 1: We moved
into Ohio City in 1974. We always liked
the neighborhood, but there was a
sense that this is a neighborhood on the decline,
and we’ve got to do something. JESSE: We started out as a
mobile ice cream business. As we were serving
ice cream around town, some of the residents
in Ohio City would come up and
say, you know, there’s this building that’s been an
ice cream shop for 60 years. It’s sitting here vacant. You’ve got to take
a look at this. We realized if we were
going to open an ice cream shop anywhere, that
it would be here. When we first got in here it
was in a state of disrepair. The majority of
the glass windows were broken or boarded up. It was a walk-up
custard stand, so we had to make a seating area in here. There were sprinkles
from every decade caked into every crevice. It was an incredible
amount of work. HELEN: I don’t know how people
did it before the internet, because we looked up everything. JESSE: How to get
a business license, how to get a health permit, how
to install zinc countertops. I did build all of the
counters to my height. I’m at least a foot
taller than Helen. HELEN: I still have
faith that I’ll grow. [LAUGHTER] JESSE: There are a lot of ice
cream shops here in Cleveland. HELEN: And we’re kind of
on a residential street. So without the power of the
internet and people searching, you know, “ice
cream in Cleveland,” it’d be very hard to find us. We’ve been really fortunate
to get some really positive online reviews. I think that really
brings people in. JESSE: We are definitely
a neighborhood hub. HELEN: Before we
came in, this was kind of just a dark corner
of the neighborhood. Having it come back to life is
incredibly important for a lot of people living here. JESSE: There are a
lot of businesses that have been here for
generations and then also this new lifeblood
coming into the neighborhood. SPEAKER 1: There’s now a
sense of hope and vibrancy. I’m sure that Mason’s
has helped to pave the way for other businesses. When we were first here, we’d
tell we live in Ohio City. People would go, oh. Now, when people ask, where
are you from, and we say, we live in Ohio City,
they go, oh, cool! That’s the difference. [MUSIC PLAYING]


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