Murphysboro’s Small Town Scoop dishes out relief from the heat

Murphysboro | Small Town Scoop | Jackson County

Les O’Dell The Southern Aug 24, 2023

Mandy Pfeaster might be the only person in Southern Illinois who actually likes the hot weather of recent weeks. No one can blame her. After all, it is good for business – the ice cream business.

“Summer is definitely my favorite,” said the owner of Small Town Scoop, a Murphysboro ice cream shop. “The other day someone was talking about fall, and I told them to slow down; its still is summer.”

It was a summer, not too different than this one, that gave Pfeaster the idea for the business she started with her family in 2020.

“Whenever we would go on vacation, we would always look for hand-scooped, real ice cream,” she explained. “That made me think that Murphysboro needed an ice cream shop.”

The Pfeaster family serves hand-dipped ice cream produced by Cedar Crest Ice Cream of Wisconsin in what she calls a “family-friendly, little hometown shop” on Walnut Street, the main thoroughfare through the Jackson County seat.

“Response has always been great,” she said. “We’ve stayed really, really busy. We have a lot of customers that we see once or twice a week and we have some groups that come in regularly, too. Plus, we seem to always be getting new customers coming in the door.

She said the business’ downtown Murphysboro location is beneficial because all of the other local businesses. She added that it also helps that Small Town Scoop tries to cater to the locals. For instance, with the annual Murphysboro Apple Festival approaching, customers will find ice cream flavors such as deep dish apple pie and candy apple among the more than two dozen flavors offered.

“We have everything from chocolate and vanilla to the fruity flavors, even some different ones that you can’t find in stores – flavors like blueberry waffle cone,” she said.

That particular flavor is one that she calls “delicious,” containing blueberries and chocolate-covered pieces of waffle cone. She said the shop also offers “Featured Flavors,” which change regularly. Sometimes, she said, these flavors become so popular that they become a part of the regular menu; lemon cheesecake is one example.

“We have a little bit of everything,” she added. “We even have a few coffee flavors that we keep in stock.”

Pfeaster said the shop itself is divided into two areas. The first is a traditional ice cream shop.

“It’s fun, decorated tables – and almost feels like you are on vacation. It’s very breezy and open. Our back room is more neutral; it holds 50 or 60 people and is a great spot for birthday parties, baby showers and other events,” she said.

Both spots are good for enjoying a sweet treat and getting some relief from the heat, she said.

Small Town Scoop is located at 1400 Walnut Street in Murphysboro. Current hours are from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 1 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Sundays. Information on featured flavors and other happenings is available on the shop’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/smalltownscoopMurphysboro.

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