Alexander’s on the Square Nearing Three Decades in Business
Writer / Jon Shoulders
Photographer / Justin Sicking
Alexander’s on the Square has all the hallmarks of a great ice cream and snack shop – plenty of ice cream flavors (36 to be exact), some menu classics like tuna melts, tenderloin, chili cheese dogs and flavored soft drinks, as well as a comfortable interior that recently underwent renovations. Nevertheless, Co-owner Cheryl Schultz feels it is actually the people who make her establishment great.
“Our employees are special, and we’ve had a lot of local kids that have grown up here working for us,” says Schultz, who took over the Noblesville space for the shop in 1994. “Our kids are the best, and we try to let them be kids and work around their schedule with sports and things. We take care of them like they’re my own kids.”
The spot was previously occupied by Chew’s grocery store and subsequently a candy store before Schultz opened up shop in 1994. She opened Alexander’s on the Water in Cicero three years later, as the Noblesville location’s sister store.
“We as the owners were always entrepreneurs at heart, and back before we opened we were just trying to figure out what we wanted to do to own our own business,” Schultz says. “We were thinking a sporting goods store, but they aren’t always the most viable businesses, and since we came from a convenience store background, doing a restaurant kind of fell right into that.”
While the shop offers a wide ice cream variety, Schultz says certain flavors have stood the test of time as favorites.
“You would think it would rotate as far as what people want through the years, but actually chocolate chip cookie dough has been a stronghold for at least the last 10 years,” Schultz says. “It seems to get stronger and stronger instead of slower. It’s hard trying to keep in some of the old flavors like chocolate chip and rocky road and also bring in new things when you only have so many spots.”
She adds that the Reuben sandwich served at Alexander’s is one of the best in Indianapolis, and the food menu also includes soups, salads, wraps, nachos and wings, as well as a kids menu.
“We do simple Midwest favorites for our food – club sandwiches, ham and cheeses, and things like that – and we don’t get too crazy with the menu,” Schultz says, adding that Alexander’s also offers catering for events like golf outings and weddings. “I was going to change the whole menu up when we remodeled for when we reopened, but when we did reopen, everything started taking off like crazy and I thought, ‘Why change it when everybody likes what we have?’”
Schultz finished a remodel of Alexander’s on the Square in February after starting the project in the winter of 2020 and putting it on hold in the spring of that year.
“We were remodeling right before COVID hit, and the last install day for the new flooring was the day it was announced that businesses like ours had to close,” she says with a laugh. “It was just time to redo some things like our floor, which really needed it. Everything needed to be freshened up. We had a different idea of what we wanted the dining room to look like, and we’d been contemplating that for some time. We wanted it to be more inviting for people to come in, sit on their laptops and stay for a while on the WIFI.”
Throughout the 2020 shutdowns, Schultz says times were tough, particularly at the Noblesville store, but she and her team made it through.
“People were great then, trying to support local businesses, but our Noblesville location took a much bigger hit than Cicero since it’s all outside,” she says. “The two stores couldn’t have been more opposite last year, and it was a challenge getting through all the regulations, and still running everything and getting the product in.”
Schultz says the steady growth of Noblesville has challenged her to stay competitive in the marketplace.
“For our Noblesville location, the biggest challenge has always been the growth of our community around us,” she says. “When 37 went in, that was hard because everybody goes out to the new shiny places. Downtown was really slow for a few years. The same thing happened when Hamilton Town Center went in. We’ve always weathered the storms, and it seems like people eventually go back to their old favorites. When you’ve been doing it for 27 years like we have, you learn how to deal with changes.”
Alexander’s on the Square is located at 864 Logan Street in Noblesville. For more info, call 317-773-9177 or go to alexandersicecream.com.
Visit Alexander’s on the Water at 369 West Jackson Street in Cicero, off of Morse Reservoir. Call 317-984-8173 for additional details.