It was started by an artist named Peter Seltzer, who quickly sold it to Robert Allison, who still goes by the nickname Dr. Mike. The shop is named for the dentist who devised the original ice cream recipes.
“The shop has been open for 41 years, making it one of the oldest continuously operated businesses in Bethel,” Allison said. He has owned it for over 30 years and embraces the notion that the shop is known for its nostalgia.
In fact, Dr. Mike’s is standing proud in its original and only location in the heart of downtown Bethel at 158 Greenwood Ave.
The cow that once stood on the front lawn now sits atop the roof, displaying a sign indicating they have been in business for 40 years.
“We operate the world's smallest ice cream factory, and make our batches fresh every day in season,” Allison said.
All of the ice cream is homemade in the back-of-the-building space where there is a 4-foot counter and barely enough space for one cook.
There are over 200 flavors in the rotation, and he is always introducing new ones. The most popular flavor is chocolate lace: sweet cream ice cream laced with a hardened caramel candy covered in dark chocolate. Hundreds of gallons of this popular flavor are often sold every week in the summer.
The eight available flavors are always chalked on the blackboard, but the lineup is subject to change at any time.
Some popular fruit flavors are pumpkin for fall, and Pomegranate Chip for all seasons.
Oreo, Heath Bar Crunch, Coffee, Coconut and Caramel Cashews are other popular choices.
Dr. Mike's has been featured on TV, radio and print across the world. People Magazine rated the Rich Chocolate as one of the top 10 chocolate flavors in the United States, according to Allison.
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