Churning out the goodies

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 14, 2006

PROCTORVILLE — Carl Kelley was given a traditional Amish ice cream maker as a gift from his daughters, little did he know that it would be churning out money in addition to the creamy, frozen treat.

Kelley, a 72-year-old retired carpenter, has turned his hobby of making ice cream into a traveling business. This week, he can be found at the Lawrence County Fair selling his tasty goods.

Kelley’s business started with a visit to an Amish community in Holmes County. He saw a 5-gallon ice cream maker and told his daughters, Gina and Angie, who own Kelley’s Amish Furniture in South Point, that he would like to have it. When Christmas rolled around, he got his wish. He did, however, make one major modification to the clumsy, brown contraption.

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“It was hand-crank but I motorized it,” the Coal Grove resident said with a smile. “Wouldn’t you?”

After making batches upon batches for his family, friends and neighbors, Kelley said he came up with a business plan.

“I had too much ice cream. It got to the point where I couldn’t even give it away,” Kelley said. “I think all the neighbors got sick of ice cream.”

So, now, he takes his ice cream on the road to fairs and festivals throughout the region. He offers a variety of flavors and even offers sugar-free varieties.

“I like to go around to the fairs about five or six times a year,” Kelley said. “Its fun to get out and do it. People are nice.”

One of Kelley’s satisfied customers was Bud Surritt.

“It’s really some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had,” he said as he dove into a bowl of strawberry ice cream.

He has known Kelley for years and calls him “one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet.”

“His ice cream is really good, but he’s a really great guy, too,” Surritt said.