Brandy Camp Crew Legendary Pennsylvania Creamery & Coffee
It was the middle of COVID. We had a lot of moving parts, with funding from three different organizations. But it was very personalized and understanding. The Progress Fund was there, walking with us the whole way through COVID.
When a friend offered to sell an ice cream shop, “We said yes,” says Meredith Bon, because saying yes “is what we do.” Meredith, Ray Knight and Father Ross Miceli renamed the business Brandy Camp after the town in whose church kitchen they initially made their ice cream. Selling from a trailer and a tiny house in St. Marys, Meredith learned this about ice cream: “It’s something that people like to gather around. It’s family friendly and it creates a sense of joy.” So why cram joy into a tiny house?
Determined to expand, the trio assembled a financing team including, the St. Marys Economic Development Corp., the city, the North Central Regional Planning Commission and The Progress Fund, which loaned $142,580.
The Brandy Camp crew converted a 110-year-old historic building in St. Marys into a spacious home for the creamery, plus apartments for rent to vacationers or residents. What sets them apart, besides their location in the capital of elk country? “Everything’s premium,” says Father Miceli, from the Lavazza coffee to the 16 extra-creamy ice cream flavors like Nutty Professor, with chocolate, caramel, peanuts and cayenne pepper. They’re buying locally farmed ingredients, helping school groups to raise money and providing students with first jobs. For customers and the community, that’s plenty of reasons to say “Yes!”View Story as PDF