Beary’s Ice Cream Shop Puts a Focus on Premium Products
Writer / Lois Tomaszewski
Photographer / Tony Straw
At Beary’s Ice Cream Shop in Plymouth, nostalgia and family are two important themes that merge in this newly opened business. Owners Jen and Dave Leffel wanted to capture the memories their family has made over ice cream, and capitalize on the appeal of being part of Plymouth’s historic downtown.
The business opened on May 26 in the building that originally housed Bosworth’s department store. The Leffels purchased the building last year.
“We are excited and honored to be a part of the historical downtown district, and want to build on the stories that have already started here,” Dave Leffel says.
Ice cream seemed like a logical choice, as the Leffels say this frozen treat has been part of their family vacation routine.
“Our family vacations have always included a search for ice cream we could not find at home,” he says. “The kids would be searching the internet for places that weren’t serving a national brand of some kind. Not that those products aren’t really good – it was about finding something different, even if more of a regional option.”
The Leffels found their regional ice cream source after visiting Mercedeze Rain Ice Cream and Chocolates in North Liberty in February. This shop features homemade ice cream and Leffel says they were hooked. After talking with the owner there, a deal was made to feature Mercedeze Rain ice cream at Beary’s.
The ice cream shop offers two lines of premium, high-butterfat, hard-packed and scooped ice cream. Mercedeze Rain is one of those premium lines, and the other is sourced out of Florida and has a wider distribution range. Beary’s is the only shop in Indiana offering the Florida-based brand.
At least 18 to 25 different flavors are available, including traditional favorites and some adult-flavored varieties made with a touch of alcohol. Unique flavors from the Mercedeze Rain line include the popular Banana Pudding, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk, and Shark Water – a blue moon ice cream with sprinkles and a gummy shark on top.
Hard-packed frozen yogurt is an option too. There are a few flavors with no sugar added, as well as Italian ice. The staff also tries to include at least two nondairy options.
“Too often, those with dairy dietary issues are left out of the fun,” Leffel says.
The menu features waffle cones and bowls made in the shop, shakes, malts, sundaes and floats. Two signature sundaes are a nod to Plymouth’s history, Leffel says.
The first is The REES. It is a scoop of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk surrounded by two scoops of chocolate ice cream, with swirls of chocolate and peanut butter sauces, peanut butter cups, pecans, a couple homemade waffle-cone slices, and of course whipped cream and a cherry. The second, called The Nickel Plate, is made with blueberry cheesecake ice cream, blueberry and marshmallow sauces, peanuts, whipped cream, cherries and waffle-cone slices.
Food options right now include smash burgers and coney dogs, with loaded baked potatoes, pulled pork, and a weekend brunch on the list for later.
Beary is the name of a stuffed bear that first belonged to the couple’s oldest daughter Sara. The bear was then claimed by their younger daughter Becca and has also been a part of their grandchildren’s fun.
The Leffels have taken steps to make sure their ice cream shop is welcoming to all members of the family, including friendly pups, and is a fun place to enjoy ice cream treats. There is a kid-sized ice cream truck and a ring-toss game.
“We gave Beary’s a full wall of Neapolitan ice cream stripes under an overhang that lights up in the evening,” Leffel says. “There is also a huge, oversized chair that the bear tends to occupy, and the kids – and some adults as well – love to climb up on it and take photos with him.”
Beary’s is located at 203 North Michigan Street in Plymouth. Call 574-784-1004 for more information.