After running the Dresden Take Out for over 5 years, Mason and Kathy Dubord decided to bring their industrious energy next door, selling ice cream and collectables out of a former church building.
Country Church and Collectables opened July 8. Its menu features 19 hard-serve ice cream flavors, milkshakes, and Blizzard-like concoctions called “Sinners.”
The Dubords purchased the building at the end of May after a weekend of deliberations with Jeff Pierce, who previously ran his own antique and collectables shop there.
Mason said that even a month before closing on the property, the couple had not anticipated turning it into an ice cream business; it was only once the Dresden Planning Board approved their application for an additional use permit in April that the couple began to consider the logistics of such a venture.
“This was all by the seat of our pants,” Mason said in an interview at the shop on July 24.
The Dubords contacted Stephanie Poland at Round Top Ice Cream for wholesale supply and for advice about the challenges and profitability of opening an ice cream stand. She told the Dubords ice cream would be a breeze compared to Take Out’s food service.
A friend of the couple who owns a convenience store gave the Dubords freezers and other supplies for free when he replaced the ones in his store. The pair merely had to add a fresh coat of paint and replace some parts and suddenly they were in business.
However, the Dubords have experienced their share of snafus. On the afternoon of Saturday, July 24, Mason noticed one of the used freezers died the night before. He had to replace it immediately.
While the couple said the ice cream business is a hit with the community, the collectables side is part of what separates Country Church from other ice cream businesses. Patrons can explore the eclectic collectables, crafts, and antique wares that crowd the church’s pews.
While a number of customers have already made purchases from the Dubords’ collection, the cavernous interior is still a work in progress. A stone mason by trade and a handyman by nature, Mason installed new outlets in the church and is in the process of creating showroom tables out of pews and wooden doors he had laying around.
Mason also crafted the impressive granite sign in front of the store using materials he had left over from past jobs. He installed a brick patio in front of the church’s service window, as well.
“I knew that it would work. As soon as I put the sign out, people started stopping in,” Mason said.
The Dubords work 90 hours a week between the two abutting storefronts. Asked what had possessed the couple to take on a whole other business on top of their day jobs, Mason grinned.
“Oh, we thought it’d be fun,” he said.
Kathy Dubord said the collectables business was a little more Mason’s idea than hers, and that she takes care of most of the ice cream shop’s operations as he continues to work on the interior.
“I’m the brains of the operation,” Kathy said during a Tuesday, July 26 phone interview, laughing.
Kathy said the space would be closed in the winter, but Mason will continue to use the church’s basement as a masonry workspace.
The couple will not be accepting any antiques or collectables from the public. With a garage full of knick knacks and other valuables, including over 100 bikes, Country Church and Collectables should have no shortage of inventory well into the future.
Country Church Collectables’ hours are currently 4:30-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2-9 p.m. Friday, and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Hours are subject to change depending on demand.
For more information and updates, find Country Church Collectables on Facebook.