Photo taken from McCarry's Dairyland Facebook page. Used with permission.

JERSEYVILLE – For four decades, McCarry's Dairyland has been a mainstay in Jerseyville.

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The ice cream shop and snack shack has been located at 400 W. Carpenter since moving from the intersections of Highways 109 and 67 since 1990. Since its founding in 1979 by Sue Goodwin and Greg McCarry in 1979, not much has changed in the rural town's favorite ice cream spot. Goodwin's and McCarry's daughters, Holly Voss and Shannon Olson took the reigns of the business in May 2014, and said not too much has changed since their parents founded the place.

“They just always wanted an ice cream shop, and a nice life for our family,” Voss said. “They wanted something that would be a joy for the community.”

That hope seems to be fulfilled, as summer nights often see a large crowd of people congregating around the bright lights, awaiting their frozen treats. The 40th season begins Wednesday morning, and the sisters said they are preparing for yet another busy year.

“We try to add new products,” Voss said. “We try to have a new ice cream every month. We also have a treat of the month and some new products. But, in a lot of ways, we're still very traditional. We hire local kids and work with local families. We don't take credit or debit cards, it's cash or check only. It hasn't changed much.”

Voss said she enjoys seeing the community grow around them. She said young people came to the ice cream shop in the past and continue to come – only now they have young ones of their own.

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“We love it when the little kids come up,” she said. “We love seeing their faces when they get ice cream. The same with dogs. People bring their dogs up there and they get so excited to be there. It's great.”

When asked why McCarry's Dairyland is such a staple in the Jerseyville community, Voss said it was due to Jerseyville's values – specifically family values.

“We are a small community, and Dairyland is a family-owned business,” she said. “Family values are important here. People have a lot of pride for living in Jerseyville. We try to give back through fundraisers for the high school and churches. We love the family values here.”

For those passing the place on summer nights and seeing the tremendous crowd, Voss said to not worry too much about the wait. She said they try to keep wait times low because people's time is valuable. They also work on ensuring orders are correct to save on overhead.

Prices at McCarry's Dairyland have risen a bit since they first opened, but prices on most things have increased since 1979. Voss said many efforts are made to keep quality high, but prices low to ensure McCarry's Dairyland will always be accessible for families.

“My sister and I grew up here,” Voss said. “We put our blood, sweat, and tears into this place.”

For the 40th season, Voss was not ready to comment on any new items or deals. She said “things are definitely in the works,” but added she had to help train some new employees and work on making sure everything was running smoothly for the season before she would announce them.

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