More than just ice creamAn old-fashioned ice cream parlor in business since 1954, Oser’s Dairy and Deli is to Canal Fulton what Taggart’s Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant, Milk & Honey and Heggy’s Nut Shop are to Canton.
“We get all the different generations that ever came here. People bring in their children and their grandchildren,” said Ann Conkle, who with her husband, George, bought Oser’s from Paul and Millis Oser in 2004. “People who have left the area stop in when they come home to visit. It’s very fun, very family oriented. I hire a lot of high school kids from within the community.”
Q. Have you made many changes to Oser’s since you bought the place from the Oser family?
A. “We knew them and the recipes and what they expected of Oser’s. They allowed us to keep the name, and we’ve maintained the integrity of this icon of Canal Fulton. We’ve done a ton of upgrades. We’ve gotten new equipment, and we’ve increased the seating by 18, but it still has the old-fashioned feel. The original floors are here, and the original walk-in cooler door is mounted on the wall.”
A. “Our soft serve has a decent butterfat content and a lot of flavor. We have a machine called Fuzionate that infuses flavors into the soft serve, things like butter pecan, cake batter and mint chocolate chip. We have nine different flavors, and those change. A lot of our hard-dipped ice cream is from Smith Dairy, but we have red velvet cake and baklava ice cream that come from Country Parlour (in North Olmsted), those are two really popular ones. We have a three-pound banana split; people order it and split it with their family.”
Q. Is your ice cream business slow in the winter months?
A. “You’d be surprised how many people in below-zero weather want ice cream. We make pumpkin ice cream pies and candy cane ice cream pies for the holidays.”
Q. Oser’s also is a deli. What’s on that menu?
A. “We have hot and cold sandwiches, salads, things like grilled cheese and tomato soup, hot dogs for the kids. We have sub sandwiches with local names like the St. Helena and the Big Canal, which is an Italian sub that people love. They also really love the BBQ pulled pork and the Reuben. The Tex-Mex wrap and quesadillas are new, but they are going like crazy.”
Q. Do you get a lot of traffic from people biking on the Towpath?
A. “We do. There’s other (ice cream available) along the Towpath, but they can come inside here and cool off, get a bottle of water, sit down and relax a bit.”