Husband and wife team open homemade ice cream parlor]
Those with a sweet tooth beware. Plymouth has a new sweet-treat destination.
Medina husband and wife team Josh and Amy Albert opened the doors to Honey & Mackie’s May 30. The store, located at 16725 County Road 24 in Plymouth, specializes in two menu items – ice cream and French fries.
The Alberts’ vision for the hard-scoop homemade ice cream parlor began four years ago and became a realization as spring heats into summer.
The couple, who also franchise a set of sandwich shops, put Honey & Mackie’s on the back burner the opportunity arose to expand their existing business. However, after things cooled down and their two sons began school, the Alberts began setting up shop.
“We love ice cream, our kids love ice cream, and it just felt like a good fit for us,” Amy said.
She continued to say that the effort is a family affair. So much so that the two Albert boys are the namesake of the establishment.
Henry, 6, had trouble pronouncing his name when he was learning to speak. When attempting to annunciate “Henry,” the letters always came out sounding like “Honey” – and the nickname stuck. Josh said their oldest son Max, 12, has always been known as “Mackie.”
The boys’ silhouettes are also incorporated into the parlor’s branding and logos.
Josh said they recognized a void in the Plymouth area for homemade ice cream. The Alberts recalled frequently driving to parts of Minneapolis just to get a scoop.
With the apparent need and the couple’s involvement in the Plymouth community, the location seemed ideal.
“We know the area pretty well, and it’s really family oriented,” Josh said. “We know a lot of the people – Amy is the president of the Parent Teacher Association at Greenwood Elementary. It was just a great fit.”
With around 20 employees, Honey & Mackie’s offers 24 rotating flavors of ice cream – all of which Amy makes herself.
Flavors include the classics; vanilla, cookie dough, chocolate milk and cookies and cream, but also feature signature blends like blueberry cheesecake, salted caramel with peanuts and banana peanut butter.
For those looking to experiment, Amy produces mango habanero ice cream.
“It’s got that sweet, creamy mango taste, but then at the end you get this heat,” Amy said. “It’s not even spicy, it’s just a really unique sensation. It’s pretty good.”
While she promised to keep the favorites in regular stock, Amy said she will continue to experiment with unique flavor combinations. A possible future flavor – candied bacon cayenne.
The French fries are hand-cut, fried fresh and can be partnered with one of Honey & Mackie’s specialty dipping sauces such as seasoned sour cream, buffalo and Sriracha mayo.
Why the French fries? Josh said it’s simple; salty and sweet.
“There’s something for everybody here,” he said.
In the winter months the Alberts plan to incorporate additional hot food items to their menu, but in the meantime their focus is their flagship. And Josh said, thus far, that focus is paying off.
He said that nearly every night since they opened, there is a line outside the front door from about 7-9 p.m. Amy said she needs three scoopers serving to get everyone through in a timely fashion.
“Honestly, it’s been busier than we even expected it to be,” Josh said.
Amy noted that the original intent was to have Henry and Max help out during busy periods of the day, but the boys seem to have their own idea of having an ice cream parlor in the family.
“Every time they come in – we thought we could put them to work – but they just want to eat ice cream and talk to the customers,” Amy said. “They’ve become little celebrities around here.”
Josh and Amy said they hope to open other Honey & Mackie’s locations locally in the future, but aren’t considering franchising the business out. They said they’re looking forward to being a community destination.
“We’d like to be a meeting place, a hang out for the kids. People are always happy, it seems, at an ice cream shop,” said Josh.
“It’s a place adults like to come too,” Amy added. “It’s about creating memories. People have memories from their childhoods of going to ice cream with their family after baseball games. It’s a special treat and a special place.”
Honey & Mackie’s is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. For a list of flavors and in-store updates, visit honeyandmackies.com