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Farm fresh in the city
Adams Morgan shop makes ice cream ‘entertaining’
(Published September 8, 2003)

By GINA PONCE
Staff Writer

Local business owners Darryl and Kerri Washington decided it was time to introduce a new taste to the District and that an ice cream shop with a different concept would be just what the community needed.

"We were looking for a business opportunity and we wanted something fun that the whole family could enjoy, so we decided on ice cream," Kerri said.

The Washingtonians bought into the Maggie Moos franchise, which has more than 75 stores across the country, and built their own store at 2324 18th St. NW in Adams Morgan. The shop opened for business July 25, and being the only Maggie Moos in D.C., Kerri said it ushered in an environment where everyone can have fun as a family or with friends.

"I’m an ice cream fanatic. I could eat ice cream every day," said Darryl, who just came off active duty in June from the Air Force.

Kerri said she and her husband researched several different companies before making a decision, and then they "just fell in love with Maggie." She said that they liked the concept of Maggie, which is a cow character brought to life through comics, and felt it would fit perfectly in a city environment. In the tale of Maggie, the cow grew up on a farm and then came to the city for a new life.

The ice cream shop brings out Maggie on special occasions as an employee dressed in a cow costume. Maggie walks around in front of the store and gives out free samples of ice cream. Kerri said the cow will be out in the afternoons when children get out of school this fall, and will soon be traveling around the District.

"Our ice cream is entertaining," Darryl said.

Darryl said he believes that the District is going through a period of renovation and was in need of an ice cream shop because there are not a lot of family services available. He said that most of the customers that come to the store comment on how they could not wait for the store to open.

This is only the second urban store in the Maggie Moos franchise. Darryl said he and his wife would like to open several ice cream shops, but they are trying to get this one going first to see how it turns out.

At Maggie Moos, the ice cream is made fresh in the store every day and is prepared on a frozen slab with a choice of mix-ins when the customer orders it. There are more than 40 flavors of ice cream and 18 selections of mix-ins in the store. Kerri said the ounce of mix-ins that is added to the ice cream allows many variations of flavors.

"Our ice cream is made fresh and this eliminates the ice crystals ice cream gets when it is prepackaged and moved from place to place," Kerri said. "Also, the mix-ins don’t get soggy from sitting in the ice cream."

Maggie Moos charges $2.70 for a kid size, $4.15 for a regular size, which is three ounces of ice cream, and $5.15 for a large size, which is six ounces. These prices include an ounce of mix-ins and can be split into two mix-in choices. The store also serves various other products, including smoothies, milkshakes, sundaes and ice cream cakes.

A Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop occupied space in Adams Morgan before relocating about five years ago. Josh Gibson, a neighborhood activist and Adams Morgan advisory neighborhood commissioner, said that after Ben & Jerry’s left the neighborhood, the biggest retail interests expressed by residents were for an ice cream shop and a bakery.

Gibson said he saw that there was "a real gap in the neighborhood without an ice cream provider." He said he contacted Maggie Moos’ corporate office in an attempt to actively pursue good businesses for Adams Morgan instead of concentrating on keeping out the bad ones.

"Everything I’ve heard [about Maggie Moos] has been positive," Gibson said. "The old habit is back, of people walking around with their ice cream and window shopping. This is a good example of a neighborhood knowing what they want and working to get it."

Kerri said feedback from customers has been positive and the community was supportive, even through construction delays.

"There’s not a lot of negative folks around ice cream," Kerri said.

Copyright 2003, The Common Denominator