By: Amy Wendt
Life is about to get a little sweeter for Archbold residents. Eric’s Ice Cream Factory, based in Defiance, will be adding a location in Archbold.
The local favorite will be moving into the former Family Care Pharmacy building on South Defiance Street.
Established in 1999, Eric’s Ice Cream Factory has locations in Defiance, Bryan, and Bowling Green.
The local chain also travels to area events by way of its mobile shop.
According to owner Eric Gerber, he and his team are excited to finally come to Archbold after a few years of kicking around the idea.
Gerber looked at a couple of other sites in Archbold with hopes of expanding operations in the area but none of those locations checked off all the boxes.
The current project began to take shape in early September 2022. When the Lulu’s Place Ice Cream shop moved out of the strip to relocate to Defiance, it opened up a great opportunity for Gerber to open up a 6th location.
When building owner David Manahan and real estate broker Denny Meyer reached out to Eric’s Ice Cream with the possibility, Gerber felt it was a “no-brainer.”
“That’s a great location, this is a great town, this is a perfect fit,” he added.
“We’re excited to come to Archbold and excited to get going and open. The building plans are all set. We just have to wait for the approval.
Demolition is already done and as soon as we get the prints back, we can begin construction inside.”
Construction is slated to begin in 30 to 45 days and Gerber anticipates updates will go fairly quickly since nothing major is needed to convert the former pharmacy to suit the ice cream shop’s needs.
Eric’s Ice Cream is working with Archbold architect David Geringer on the project. “We’re keeping stuff as local as possible,” Gerber noted.
Gerber intends to create a full experience at his newest location. “When you walk through the door, you’re going to feel like you just walked into a whole new dimension.”
“The look, the feel, the sound, the smell, everything is going to be off the charts.”
Since the Archbold location will offer an indoor dining area, Gerber shared that it will likely be open all year around though winter hours may vary.
Eric’s Ice Cream Factory has garnered a following by offering simple yet unique treats that appeal to all ages.
Their menu is not complicated. In addition to its homemade ice cream creations, the popular stop also features chili dogs and fries.
Between all of the locations, Eric’s Ice Cream makes over 1,600 gallons of homemade ice cream a week.
The ice cream for the Archbold store will be made onsite. Homemade taste doesn’t stop there.
The local chain has developed its own all-natural pure sugar cane root beer for its popular “Best Float Ever.” The shop also uses its own recipes for many of its syrups and toppings.
Gerber stated that he is looking forward to opening the new store and supporting the Archbold community.
“My team is pushing hard to get everything accomplished,” he added.
It is anticipated that the Archbold location will open at the end of spring, 2023.
Amy can be reached at email@example.com