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Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy: Serving up memories one scoop at a time

Kasey Pulliam-Reynolds says Shubert's Ice Cream & Candy has stayed in business for more than 77 years and is still in the same building as when it first opened. Photo credit: Jason Spies

The day comes to an end with the flip of a switch for Kasey Pulliam-Reynolds and Nathan Pulliam, fourth generation Shuberts and the current owners of Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy.

For three days out of the week, this is how the day ends for an ice cream machine that has been around for 77 years, ever since Shubert’s first opened its doors.

“We have never used any other machine. It’s a great machine, and it keeps cranking it out and doing a good job for us,” Pulliam-Reynolds said.

Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy has built its name on family, quality and consistency, always using the same local and high quality ingredients in its ice cream and candy no matter the cost, Pulliam-Reynolds said.

This, along with the Shuberts’ family-oriented traditions and drive to give customers high quality products, seems to be the underlying reason they have been able to stay in business as long as they have. Since it is a family-owned and operated business, only family members get to be involved in the actual making of the ice cream and candy.

“We have always maintained using superior, quality products,” Pulliam-Reynolds said. “So even during the butter rationing when butter was super, super expensive, we didn’t stop and use margarine. We payed the higher price, took the hit and knew it would eventually come back down, which it always did.”

Shubert’s has been a part of the Chico community for so long that it is one of the oldest businesses around.

“I think there are a few places that might have been here longer than us, but we’re like, the fourth or fifth oldest building in Chico,” Pulliam-Reynolds said.

In 2008, Shubert’s was named the second best ice cream shop in America in the Good Morning America television contest. Its signature Chico Mint Chip ice cream was a fan favorite.

According to Pulliam-Reynolds, the amount of people who come to the shop for ice cream is about the same as those who come for candy. In the summer, there is a higher demand for ice cream than candy. Then when fall and winter come along, candy becomes more popular than ice cream. It’s very back and forth, Pulliam-Reynolds said.

On top of supplying the community with ice cream and candy, Shubert’s also ships its products to people and places all around the United States. People who have tasted Shubert’s just can’t get enough of it. Some even buy it at the shop and ship it out of the country to family members Pulliam-Reynolds said.

Owning a candy shop is hard work and comes with long hours of strenuous labor. But for Pulliam-Reynolds, it’s all worth it because of the rewarding feeling of providing a positive atmosphere for others in the community, she said.

“Getting to hear stories of people saying, ‘Oh my gosh that’s the place I went on my first date’ or ‘Shubert’s is where my husband proposed to me— that’s the most special place in the world to me,’” Pulliam-Reynolds said, “That’s what makes what we do worth while.”

Jason Spies can be reached at [email protected] or @Jason_Spies on Twitter.

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