A Mountain Brook native himself, Jay Connor and his wife Stacey have been married for 20 years and have two children, Maryn and Thomas, with another on the way this summer. Jay’s first job in high school was actually working at Mountain Brook Creamery when it was then a Baskin Robbins. Through the years the business has changed a lot, especially when Jay took over as owner of this location and of Edgewood Creamery in Homewood, too. His love for ice cream and pride in the family business is evident as he reflects on the history of Mountain Brook Creamery.
How did you get into the food industry?
At 16 years old, I worked at Mountain Brook Creamery when it was then a Baskin Robbins. The owner at the time, Jim Gaston, successfully turned Baskin Robbins in Mountain Brook Village into Mountain Brook Creamery. We had the opportunity to take over Mountain Brook Creamery in 2005 and jumped on it and came back to the same happy customers that I served in high school. We started out as a one-man band and over the last 18 years, we have been able to increase its sales tenfold, which has allowed us to employ and manage a large staff, including customer service, cake decorators and managers.
Of all the businesses to go into, why icecream and why “Mountain Brook?”
Why ice cream? I love it! Over the years, we have added new products and services, including catering, frozen yogurt and now our new, soft-serve ice cream to the already 44-plus premium hand-crafted, hard-scooped ice cream flavors. We were also able to open another store in Homewood, Edgewood Creamery, in 2008 that is doing great as well. Mountain Brook has proven to be the perfect place for us, and the community wants us to be there and supports us in any climate. The proximity to the Birmingham Zoo, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and all of the great restaurants and shops keeps us with a strong flow of customers.
What do you hope to bring to the community through ice cream—Mountain Brook Creamery, specifically?
We love being part of the community. When I ask someone about our store now, I always ask them, ‘Do you assume that we are always open?’ That is important to us because we are open 363 days a year, 7 days a week, from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. To be successful and to be a trusted part of the community, you have to be responsive, available and consistent. We have built that trust that when we are needed, and without question, we are going to be there, and it’s going to be a great experience every time. That is the biggest honor you can celebrate as a business. In 18 years, we haven’t missed a business day other than the famous Snow-apocalypse of 2014.
What are your favorite menu items and those you recommend newcomers try first?
If you have not experienced Mountain Brook Creamery yet, come in and try our special mint chocolate chip ice cream or chocolate soft serve, and you will instantly be in love. Just make sure you scoop up an ice cream cake in any flavor of your choosing to bring home to the family.
What events, new flavors or “news” in general can customers anticipate in the near future?
This summer we will be offering New Orleans-style sno-cones for the first time in Mountain Brook! We will have a flavor list that will fit any palate and will even include your favorite ice cream and toppings to add on top. This will be the coolest summer ever!
Visit Mountain Brook Creamery at 2715 Cahaba Rd in Mountain Brook Village seven days a week each day from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. To stay updated on new flavors and events, visit bhamcreameries.com.