Carol Frekey-Harkness has ice cream in her blood – though hopefully not literally, as that’s probably not good for your health.
Her mother, Brenda Frekey, opened an ice cream shop, Frekey’s Dairy Freeze, in Chichester in 1983, and Frekey-Harkness was always around the business, eventually purchasing it in 1995. When she turned 50, she wanted to do something exciting and spontaneous. So what does an ice cream lifer do for excitement? Why, open another ice cream shop, of course.
The result is the new Concord/Penacook location of Frekey’s Dairy Freeze, occupying the spot and building on Fisherville Road that was once Summer Freeze.
Summer Freeze fell on hard financial times a couple years ago and had to close for good. That meant a year without ice cream in Penacook last year. That’s where Frekey-Harkness came in and saved the summer.
“I thought, ‘You know, I could make a go of it,’ ” she said of her idea to open a second shop. She ultimately followed her heart and opened the Penacook shop April 23.
Two months in, “it’s been great,” she said.
“We had a few hiccups in the beginning with our soft serve. People were coming from Chichester and saying the soft serve isn’t the same, so we got a new machine, the exact same one as in Chichester. And it’s made such a difference.”
That speaks to Frekey-Harkness’s commitment to her customers and the community in general. She said she’s had a lot of customers she’s known for years through her Chichester shop come by to check out the new digs, and she takes everyone’s opinion seriously. When the soft ice cream didn’t live up to their expectations, she didn’t wait around – the new machine arrived last week and customers have been very satisfied, Frekey-Harkness said.
She works there every day, and sometimes her daughter and son pitch in, too. The shop does strictly ice cream – no ostrich eggs or venison hot dogs like the previous business used to offer. There are 44 flavors of hard ice cream available plus the classic chocolate, vanilla and twist soft-serve options. Ice cream is what she knows, she said, and she didn’t want to open a business that would involve elements – such as hot food – she wasn’t familiar with.
What sets this place apart from probably any other ice cream shop around is its Little Free Library right out front. You and your kids can browse through a selection of free books that you can read over ice cream or take home and keep. You can leave your own books, too.
Whatever you do, though, make sure you stop by Frekey’s Dairy Freeze this summer. The prices are good, and the flavors – and staff – are even better.