Spring has sprung and I’m in the mood for ice cream! Peoria has a lot of locally-owned ice cream stores and stands and I plan on hitting them all in the next few months. My first stop is going to be at Emack & Bolio’s. I stopped here way back when I first started this blog in December of last year, so some of you may have missed it. Check it out by clicking here: Emack & Bolio’s. We’ll watch this Cheap Trick video while you read that and catch up.
Okay, you’re back. Well anyway, I wanted to start this ice cream journey at Tim and Jim’s shop and I spoke with Tim and we decided that Emack & Bolio’s would join forces with MBIP and have a monthly special where you get a buck off of a certain flavor if you go in and say a secret word. It’s best if you lean in to the person at the counter and whisper the secret word like you’re some sort of secret agent, but you don’t have to. I’m not sure how we’re going to do this, so let’s just go to the store and figure it out. In other words, we’ll wing it, kind of how I do most of the posts here at MBIP.
It's kind of a grey day out here, which is what I prefer. I'm not a big sunshine fan, it just makes everything too bright.
And here we are at Emack & Bolio's ice cream parlor in the heart of Peoria Heights on Prospect Road.
Let's go in and see what's happening in here.
The store looks colorful and inviting as always.
Well, since it's a grey and chilly day, business is a little slow today. The plan I had hatched on the way over here was to have a customer pick the ice cream for the monthly special and then we'd all brainstorm and figure out what the secret word would be. Since there's no customers in here, it kind of throws a Spaniard in the works.
I couldn't figure out how to open up the cash register, so I decided to wander around the store aimlessly, like a lost homeless derelict longing for a compass while Tim was gone. Here's an article in the Journal Star about when Emack & Bolio's first opened up, written by Journal Star business editor and MBIP pal, Steve Tarter.
They have a little outside area that opens up in the spring that I didn't get photos of last time, let's go take a look.
It's very nice out here, a relaxing place to enjoy some ice cream and watch the world go by. I think I hear them back in the store, let's go see.
They're back and here's Heather, who's the manager of Fired Up, located next door to Emack & Bolio's.
Fired Up is a store where you can paint your own pottery and then they fire them up in their state of the art kilns like this Emack & Bolio's plate that was made there. It's funny, before this, I assumed Fired Up was a store that manufactured bongs. You live and you learn!
I told Heather she could pick any flavor for this month's special.
A little adjustment had to be made so Heather could point to the flavor she wanted. Nothing's ever easy in this man's world! Sheesh!
Here's this month's special flavor at Emack & Bolio's...
It's Almond Coconut Bar! All you have to do is say the secret word and you get a dollar off of this flavor in a bowl or in a cone. All we need to do now is to think of the secret word.
But first we need to sample the ice cream to see if it's worthy to be this month's special flavor. Tim "Scoop" Hennessey prepares a couple of cones for sampling.
Here we are with the ice cream cones...
And I can testify that this flavor is delicious and there's whole almonds in the ice cream! While eating the cones, I remembered a fun Tim Hennessey family moment. I've been friends with Tim since I've been about 13-years-old and his wife Tina and his kids have been like a second family to me. I've had the privilege of watching all five of his kids grow up. Years ago while drinking a beer in the kitchen of their house on Corrington Avenue with Tim and Tina's three-year-old daughter Erin playing nearby, I dropped my beer and said, "Fuck!" Erin looked up innocently at Tim and I and said, "Fuck?" Well, we both laughed and Erin thought this was great and she smilingly shouted out, "Fuck," once again. I quickly left the house, before Tina got home and discovered I had taught her daughter how to say the worst cuss word in the history of the world. So I thought that "Fuck" should be this month's special word, but that was shot down by Tim and Heather. After some discussion, we decided that the secret word to get a dollar off of a bowl or cone of Coconut Almond ice cream is, "Erin." Say the secret word and get a buck off of this delicious flavor.
Here I am making up a sign with some big-ass chalk.
Well, maybe someone can re-do that sign, it's a little rough. Anyway, remember, stop in and get a buck off the Almond Coconut bar flavor by saying this month's secret word, "Erin." And speaking of Hennessey children, congratulations to Michael and Abby Hennessey, who have given Tim and Tina their newest granddaughter, Harper, a couple of days ago! This is Tim and Tina's 72nd grandchild and they're thrilled to pieces! And while I'm at it, let's say hi to the rest of the Hennessey kids, Amy, Katie and my Godson, Brian! One of these days I need to write up about how I dripped scalding hot candle wax on a priest's hands at Brian's baptism years ago! Oh the fun we've had!
After making the sign I stopped over to Fired Up to say goodbye to Heather and to thank her for picking out this month's flavor at Emack & Bolio's.
Thank you Heather! I'm going to stop in here and make a special piece of MBIP pottery in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that! I'm hoping to make a bong in here! See you all tomorrow.