Jordan’s Ice Creamery on Route 106 in Belmont was recently voted as the best ice cream in New Hampshire, and Craig Jordan proudly stood beside the new sign outside his family’s business. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
July 11, 2012BELMONT — When WMUR-TV in Manchester asked their Facebook friends where the best ice cream could be found in New Hampshire, it didn't take long before fans of Jordan's Ice Creamery rallied to boost the coolest place in Belmont into the number one spot.
Despite some stiff competition from other ice cream establishments in the state, Jordan's, located on Route 106, drew the most raves and now holds this year's bragging rights as the "must have" ice cream.
"When you win something like this, it's really gratifying to know people recognize all you do to make your business the best. It's really nice that they notice. Kind of humbling, actually," said Craig Jordan.
But to the hundreds who seek out Jordan's ice cream for a cool summer treat, the award came as no surprise.
One fan wrote in their nomination entry, "Not only is their ice cream the best, but so is the customer service! Way to go, Mr. Jordan, for creating a winner all the way around."
Comments like that make the Jordan family proud. The business was begun 18 years ago by Craig's father, Eric Jordan, who did his research and developed his own recipes that many people now crave. But beyond a great product, customer service is also important to the Jordans.
"The staff we have is the face of Jordan's Ice Creamery, and we want people who come here to be happy. It isn't just about the ice cream. It's about the overall experience our customers have here," Craig said.
Many of their employees return season after season, and have come to be a part of the very fabric of the business. The younger Jordan, who now runs most of the operation, said customers look forward to seeing familiar faces as they stop in to relax on a nice summer day.
"Even former employees still stop by to see everyone when they can," he said.
He said his family realized a long time ago that they needed to become a destination for customers. To accomplish that, they continue to search for ways to be the best and never cut corners as they make their ice creams and other products.
"We're in a small town, and we aren't on the lake, so we have to give people a reason to come out here. From the service to the products and our appearance, it's all important," he said.
Great ice cream is the main attraction, though, and the Jordans have more than 200 of their own homemade flavors that keep people coming back.
While Eric first developed the recipes, Craig has worked nearly all his life helping his father and is now adding to the list of flavors they offer. Among the many favorites is his Coconut Cookies and Cream, which he previewed last summer.
"I was making a batch of cookies and cream one day, and thought, why not add coconut?" Jordan said.
It turned out to be a big hit, and was mentioned frequently by those who voted in the contest. Others, like Maple soft serve ice cream, pumpkin pie, and grape nut, also drew raves. This year, the Jordans have brought back the popular Birthday Cake ice cream, and have added Blueberry Pie, Caramel Cookie Crunch and a Strawberry Shortcake Sundae to their list.
"The strawberry shortcake sundae is catching on really well. I love doing this, coming up with new types of ice cream," said Jordan.
Not only is the ice cream home made — the waffle cones are, too, and each are made fresh daily. They also create their own sorbet, sherbets, low fat and nonfat frozen yogurt, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream cakes and pies.
"My mom does all the decorating, and we sell the cakes right at the window. If people call ahead and give us enough lead time, we'll even specially make them in whatever flavors they want," he said.
Besides the store, Jordan's ice creams hit the road in half gallon containers and hand packed quarts, sold locally at the new Belmont Agway and a few other locations. And when NASCAR comes to town, the crew is also at the track in Loudon, catering to thousands of race fans who soon become fans of their ice cream as well.
The younger Jordan said his father continues to be involved and work hard at the business, but it is he who now handles the daily operations and, with all they have going on, that keeps him quite busy, seven days a week, from May until October.
"The only time I feel ahead of the game, like everything is done, is on Columbus Day after we close," he joked.
The Jordans are grateful to the Town of Belmont and its residents for all their support over the years, and whenever possible, they show their appreciation. Earlier this month, they held a fundraiser day for Belmont Elementary School, donating a portion of the proceeds to the school.
"It's important to us to give back. Without Belmont, who knows if we'd be here still?" Jordan said.
He also credits his father, saying the entire business is a reflection of Eric's dedication to customer service.
With this latest award, Jordan's Ice Creamery is enjoying many new customers who are seeking them out, and Jordan said that makes it all the more important to continue the standards his father has established.
"It took a lot of time and hard work for us to get to this point, and it means a lot to us to be named the best in the state. We hope to keep coming up with new ideas now to keep people coming back," he said.