A Great Place to “Chill”
Boston-area ice cream store always has the neighborhood scoop
By Matt Robinson
When it comes to ice cream, MA is one of the top states in the union. Bay Staters eat more of the cool treat than nearly any other citizens. To make it in MA, therefore, takes something extra special!
In addition to amazing homemade ice cream, and locally sourced pastries, teas, coffees, and other treat, Chill on Park in the Fields Corner section of Boston offers a place for neighbors to meet and commune and also offers many area youth a first job or a second chance.
As his family has had a presence in the neighborhood (and in the building on Park Street where the new shop now sits), owner Alan Issokson knows the pulse of the city and the people who make it beat.
“My family has been here since 1923,” Alan says, recalling his grate-grandfather’s clothing store and the H. Levenbaum Insurance Agency that his grandfather founded that he now runs. “We made our business out of being here!”
When a barbershop in the building decided to close, Alan wanted to bring in another vendor to serve the community. After soliciting interest from other small businesses, he and his wife, Wendy, decided to do it themselves.
“We had a vision,” Alan explains, “of a young and fresh, but homey and classy place. Like a renovated Victorian home in the neighborhood.”
With its combination of reclaimed woods and chalkboard walls, Chill offers just enough old school to appeal to long-time residents and just enough flair to attract younger customers. As the shop is near many schools, a senior center and public transit, it attracts a wide range of customers, many of whom drop by regularly or make a special trip to taste another of the cover 30 flavors (or to enjoy more of an already-established favorite).
“We want to bring the community the place that they want,” Alan explains, noting that customer requests have encouraged new offerings ranging from chocolate chips as a topping to vegan muffins. “We do our best to make our customers happy!”
Another way the Issoksons serve their customers and their community is by hiring from nearby and collaborating with area organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester and the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
“For many of the kids, this is their first job,” Alan notes. “You cannot minimize the impact of having a first successful job!”
By sourcing everything from their chocolate chips to their cashiers from as nearby as possible, the Issoksons have made a neighborhood place that puts the neighborhood first and that also attracts many repeat visitors from other neighborhoods as well.
“We want to be part of the fabric of the community,” Alan says. “We want people to feel that this is their place
For more of Matt’s food-related writings, please visit www.matts-meals.com or follow Matt @ mattsmeals73.