Mark Johnston has discovered what many East Toledoans already know – the East Side is a great place to do business.
Johnston, of Grand Rapids, Ohio, spent 28 years as a builder before an illness and the economic downturn forced him to rethink his life path.
“I was sick for a little while and I just decided that I no longer wanted to stay in the building business,” Johnston said. “The economy was down and I just wanted to try something new. I thought about an ice cream shop. I know what it takes to run a business and to do it right. It helps that I love ice cream as well.”
|Mark Johnston of Grand Rapids, OH owner of
the new Edie's Ice Cream. (Press photo by Ken
Johnston went on a search for just the right place to open shop. “I looked everywhere,” he said. “I looked in Perrysburg, Maumee and Sylvania. There just wasn’t the right building or property there for me. Then I came to East
There, Johnston decided to purchase the old Taco Bell restaurant located at 2349 Woodville Rd. He named the business Edie’s Ice Cream, similar to but not exactly the same as an establishment formerly located right across the street. The old building was gutted, remodeled, and finally opened six weeks ago. Now, instead of “running for the border,” customers come running in for ice cream.
In addition to Johnston, patrons will find his children, Tyler, Kyle and Allison ready to help them get their ice cream fix.
“Business has been really good,” Johnston said. “The people around here are great. There is a wonderful little neighborhood behind us. It is just very friendly here and I know I made the right choice coming here. I am very excited about it.”
The new Edie’s Ice Cream has both soft-serve and hand-dipped ice cream as well as soft-serve yogurt. The soft-serve ice cream is available in vanilla, chocolate and a non-dairy fruit whip.
“The fruit flavors change weekly,” Johnston said. “The fruit whip is mixed with the vanilla like a swirl. The orange whip tastes like a Creamsicle.”
Edie’s also offers eight flavors of hand-dipped creamy goodness and will soon start offering Wow Cow, a no-sugar-added ice cream.
“Wow Cow is allowed on many diets including Weight Watchers,” Johnston said. “It is very low in calories and has no fat and no added sugar.”
Want a sundae, flurry or a milkshake? Edie’s has those as well. “We have 20 different kinds of flurries available,” he said. “They are just very popular here.”
Special flurries include the Bart Simpson (Butterfingers and hot fudge); the Chocolate Explosion (chocolate ice cream, chocolate sprinkles, brownie bits and fudge) and the very popular Cotton Candy (vanilla ice cream, cotton candy sprinkles, cotton candy cone dip and marshmallow).
Feeling like a sundae? Edie’s has the classics as well as specialty sundaes including the Golden Oreo sundae (vanilla ice cream, Golden Oreo cookies, whipped cream and a fruit topping of your choice) and a Buckeye sundae, filled with Buckeye candy, hot fudge, peanut butter and whipped cream.
Edie’s also offers Coney Island hot dogs, shredded chicken and pulled pork sandwiches. The sauces for the sandwiches come from family recipes.
“We have the best Coney dog in Northwest Ohio,” Johnston said. “Our sauce is really meaty and has a bite to it. A lot of people love it and have a lot of nice things to say about our food.”
Edie’s has become very popular during the lunch hour as well as with families who prefer to eat inside the 45-seat restaurant.
Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 10 pm., Edie’s also offers a drive- through window for those in a hurry.