On December 31, 1981, John and Debbie Lopez purchased the franchised ice cream store at the corner of Olive and D, next to Smith’s Market, in Porterville, CA.
We moved from Merced, along with Stephen and Tim, our two young sons.
For the next 16 years, we operated the ice cream store along with our growing family, adding Sam, Leah, David, Daniel and Katie during that time. Choosing to homeschool the kids allowed them to begin working around the age of 10. The store has played an important role in their business education, teaching them also the value of serving others, an integral part their Christian education as well.
During these years as a franchise, our franchisor seemed to be
getting further and further away from ice cream. Changes in ownership, mergers, and corporate decisions that emphasized other products (which eventually led to them discontinuing their actual ice cream production; it is now contracted out) pushed us to independence.
On November 1, 1998, All About Ice Cream was born, named out of frustration that our former franchisor was no longer all about ice cream (plus, A comes before B alphabetically, insuring our presence above our former name on most lists…..)
We continued running the business as usual on the corner of Olive and D, next to Save Mart Supermarket, keeping our emphasis on Ice Cream.
For the next 10 years, without a franchisor to fall back on, we learned a lot about self-reliance. We had to do more ourselves, such as baking our own cakes for our increasingly popular ice cream cakes. A big plus is that the end product is far superior than previously trucked in frozen desserts. We also found a niche in the wedding cake market—both ice cream and regular wedding cakes. When our lease was up in 2008, we decided that we needed more space to expand our cake business, which was quickly growing larger than we could accommodate in our 900+ sq. ft store.
On February 10, 2009, we moved into our new location,
Henderson, in the Target shopping center. With a bigger oven, more refrigeration, and more space, we can manage more efficiently, and with a larger customer area, we can serve Porterville better.
For those of you who ask about our children you saw grow up in the store over the last 35 years, here’s a quick rundown:
- Steve, 36, lives in Roseville, CA, and works as a Geek Squad agent. He "eloped" with Krista Zorichak on August 27, 2011. They had a public wedding ceremony and reception on June 3, 2012 for all their friends and family.
- Tim, 35, lives in Irvine, CA and works at Symantec (he's oversees social media for Norton Anti-Virus.) He married Jenna Warrick on October 1, 2011.
- Sam, 31,lives in Fresno and is currently working for a medical imaging company and drives for Lyft and Uber on the side. He married his sweetheart of 5 years, Michelle Furnier, on August 7, 2010.
- Leah, 29, works at a Home Depot in Tumwater, WA. She married Jeff Ince in a small family wedding on Sept. 20, 2014, in Big Bear, CA. They currently reside in Olympia, WA.
- David, 28, moved a few years ago to Lacey, WA. It was there he met his future wife, Janell Ritter. They lived in Kenai, Alaska for almost a year, then went back to Centralia, WA and got married on July 19, 2014. They currently live in Longmont, Colorado.
- Daniel, 26, is currently working at the ice cream store, sometimes attending Porterville College. You can often find him playing drums at church.
- Katie is our baby, 24 years old. She also still works at the ice cream store, where she is getting quite good at decorating cakes. She can handle it all when we are gone!
We look forward to serving Porterville for many years to come!