Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Murray's Ice Cream is open again -- can summer be far away?

Posted by on Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 1:06 PM

It's almost officially summer when Murray Nixon opens her shop for the season.
  • It's almost officially summer when Murray Nixon opens her shop for the season.


Last week, Murray Nixon opened her namesake ice-cream and cookie emporium in Westport for her 27th season. Tomorrow she introduces her newest flavor: Red Velvet Cake.

"There's 5 pounds of cake in every tub of ice cream," Nixon says. She adds that her red-velvet cake is a vivid burgundy, but it's made the traditional way: with cocoa.


Last year, Nixon introduced one of her more unusual ice-cream flavors, Hog Wild -- made with maple syrup, walnuts and bits of real bacon.

"It's still on our repertoire for this year, too," Nixon says.

When Nixon opened her shop in 1984, there were no ice-cream venues like hers, serving upscale, handmade ice creams and sorbets. Things have changed over the years, and there's more competition, including Poppy's in Lee's Summit and Christopher Elbow's Glace just south of the Plaza. Nixon doesn't mind competition from artisan ice-cream places such as Poppy's and Glace, she says. What worries her are the number of corporate soft-serve yogurt chains, such as Yogurtini, Peach Wave and Orange Leaf, swamping the market.

"It's a very different product than mine," Nixon says, "but people always want to try the new, 'it' kind of dessert, so it's definitely competition for us. And, yes, it worries me a little."

But opening day of Murray's shop at 4120 Pennsylvania went very well last Wednesday. The weather was balmy, and business was brisk. And when red-velvet-cake fans start stopping by, Nixon probably won't have too much to worry about.


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