Across the titular street from the Oxford Fire Department, the lime-green ice cream shop used to be home to a drive-through bank, but now features bright colored walls, shelves full of knick-knacks for sale and quite a few customers who stop by regularly for pints to bring home.
Spring Street Treats, opened up for its eighth season in Oxford on Feb. 1.
“Business has been really good,” said Kayleigh Swatzell, Spring Street Treats’ assistant manager. “The college students were excited that we were back so they’ve loved it, but even the townies have been here constantly.”
A playground invoking nostalgia sits next to the store, attracting Oxford’s younger population and Miami students, even graduate students, who can be seen enjoying their ice cream on the teeter-totter.
“I went there with my skating team after a late-night practice and we ended up eating our ice cream on the playground like we were kids again and it was just so much fun,” junior Megan Szwanck said.
The shop closes every year around Thanksgiving and reopens once the spring semester starts. With most students away and the cold keeping people inside, Swatzell said it’s a good break.
Catering to a wide audience, the store features a lactose-free soft serve as its main product, while monthly and seasonally-rotating flavors like pumpkin and peppermint make brief appearances. Swatzell said the ice cream served at Spring Street Treats is also lower in sugar than most other versions of the dessert, and gluten-free cones and toppings are also available.
“It’s as healthy as ice cream can get,” Swatzell said.
Once upon a time, the owner, Allen Ansorg decided to use a lactose-free product because his wife and daughter have dietary restrictions and he wanted to be able to serve as many people as possible. The decision struck a chord with customers, and it’s been available ever since.
Swatzell said the business is working to connect more with the community and other local businesses. This season, the shop decided to sell Bakery Treats by Layla, a local student who is baking homemade dog treats in order to raise money for a trip to space camp.
Swatzell said they will also begin to work on new merchandise this season for customers to purchase as another attempt to increase local connections.
This month’s limited-time flavors include strawberry cheesecake swirl, peppermint and coffee. Some customers stick to the classic chocolate and vanilla twist, but most are open to trying something new.
Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter
One customer, convinced by Swatzell to try the strawberry cheesecake, quickly decided he needed to add that flavor to his pint order. He left with four pints.
“He’s a regular.” Swatzell said, “He’ll be back next Thursday for his weekly pints.”