So, what is Mad Maggie's all about? Let me tell you...
Since the time I first moved to Andover with my wife and kids, I've wondered why a town as vibrant and Rockwell-ian as Andover had absolutely no downtown gathering place.
What do I mean by that? Well, I think back to the days of Ford's Diner in the old downtown, where folks could come in for a decent breakfast or lunch, see some familiar faces, and be welcomed with a small town friendliness.
There are other food service establishments on Main Street, however their national franchise roots always seemed a little out of place to me. While they are mostly fine stores, they're also no different than the franchised locations found in any other town -- if you were brought blindfolded into one of them, when your eyes were uncovered, you wouldn't really be able to immediately say if you were in Andover, or in Atlanta, Georgia. To put it another way, none of these establishments have anything that makes them specifically "Andover".
What I envisioned was a fun, community gathering place where I could take my kids for a special treat on a weekend night. Or maybe a place to stop in on a Saturday afternoon for a "secret sundae" in the middle of an errand run downtown. Or a place where my kids could meet their friends after school to enjoy a laugh and a milk shake in a safe and inviting environment.
Mad Maggie's is the realization of that vision. I lost patience waiting for someone else to open such a place (and with myself, for continually asking myself when someone would...) and decided that this was a niche that was crying to be filled, and why shouldn't I'd be the one to provide it? It was obvious to me that an ice cream parlor was the right type of establishment, so after about a year of brainstorming with my wife and kids, the concept of Mad Maggie's was born.
The biggest problem was this: I had absolutely no knowledge of how to open and operate any type of food establishment, let alone an ice cream parlor. So I've spent a lot of time over the past year reading, learning, meeting people in the ice cream business, and asking questions.
Early on, I thought that a simple shop selling cones would be sufficient. The more I brainstormed about it though, the more it became clear to me that the people of Andover wouldn't get excited about just another ice cream shop. They appreciate quality and want the best.
So that's what I've strived for in opening Mad Maggie's. The Best. Sure, we'll sell the mainstays of vanilla and chocolate, but we'll produce the highest quality product, from the best ingredient suppliers from around the world. And we'll produce hand crafted batches of our own "micro-brewed" specialty recipes, ones we hope you'll find a little more interesting and tasty than what one can find in other area shops.
We also provide a friendly store, where you can expect to be greeted with a smile and a courteous hello. A place where you can meet an old friend, or maybe make some new ones. Our goal is to become accepted as a piece of the fabric of downtown Andover, aspiring maybe even to fill that void that Ford's left.
We hope you'll enjoy the experience, and that you'll be excited to tell your friends about us.