By Melissa Abbey
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer
Steven Allred and Marie McCravey come to Carrboro every couple of months to do some shopping. They poke around the downtown shops, stock up on local produce and always — always — get Maple View ice cream.
Lucky for the Burlington couple, FRESH.taste, the new ice cream and frozen yogurt shop located at the same address as the old Maple View store – 100 E. Weaver St. – carries their beloved Maple View ice cream.
“We hadn’t been to Carrboro in a couple of months, so we didn’t know the Maple View store had closed,” Allred, 25, said. “But besides wondering where the sign went we didn’t even realize this was a new place until we got to the counter. Then we thought, ‘Hmm, something’s up.’”
On Sunday, March 18, the couple had baby Jaden Allred in tow. McCravey, 27, fed the giddy 17-month-old chocolate ice cream while enjoying the coffee flavor herself.
“This store is cute and sometime I’ll have to try the frozen yogurt,” she said, airplane-ing a bite of ice cream into her son’s mouth. “But for now, I’m just glad they still have Maple View.”
Carrboro locals are glad to see the local dairy’s ice cream in FRESH.taste as well. Roy and Gracie Brown, both 73, live just around the corner from the shop and said they love the luxury of walking to 100 Weaver St. for treats.
“Oh, we just love the Maple View ice cream,” Gracie Brown said. “We’ll go out to the country store in Hillsborough sometimes, too. Did when the one here closed.
“This is so close by, and I can get my husband walking,” she said with a wink.
Her husband winked back.
“I’ll say, ‘Let’s play kids and go get ice cream,’” he said, turning to his wife. “Didn’t I say that? I said that just today. ‘Let’s play kids.’”
Coming to town
FRESH.taste owner Chris McCracken, 32, used to own an ice cream and frozen yogurt business in Raleigh but couldn’t pass up the newly available Carrboro location.
“I had a store in Raleigh and I sold Maple View products over there, so I had a good relationship with Maple View,” he said. “When they decided to close the store in Carrboro, I looked at the location, and I really loved it.
“So far it’s been great,” he added. “I can’t tell you how many people have come in and said, ‘Hey, we’re glad you’re here and selling Maple View.’”
FRESH.taste also offers organic frozen yogurt, sweetened with cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. McCracken said there aren’t any artificial ingredients in the recipe, which he thinks is important to a lot of people in Carrboro.
Keeping it local
FRESH.taste is one of many locally owned shops in Carrboro. Annette Stone, director of economic and community developmentin Carrboro, said she thinks the culture and atmosphere supports locally owned businesses more than chains.
“It’s not that we don’t allow chains,” she said. “We simply embrace the local.”
Stone said the fact that a town the size of Carrboro even has an economic development department is evidence of the town’s dedication to helping small businesses.
“We also have what’s called a revolving loan fund,” she said. “That’s money that is loaned to small start-ups and is available to existing businesses for retention of jobs or job expansion. Essentially it’s for folks who can’t get traditional financing.”
FRESH.taste hasn’t been open long, but already business looks good. The shop opened late in February but renovations continued until last weekend and the sign still hasn’t come in. Nevertheless, McCracken said he’s already got a steady stream of customers.
“We’re just doing a very soft opening,” he said. “We’re still waiting on our sign, and I think some customers were really confused with the transition between Maple View and us.”
Maple View Farms has been McCracken’s supplier for two years, but the shops aren’t connected otherwise. Despite offering the same products, McCracken said he doesn’t think his business will affect that of the Maple View country store, located on Rocky Ridge Road seven miles north of Carrboro.
“There’s definitely not any competition between us and the country store,” he said. “They’re about two totally different markets. People go to the farm as a destination.
“A lot of our business comes from people right around us, from people at Weaver Street hanging out on the lawn.”
Of course, some people come all the way from Burlington.