by Jennifer Alexander Ruple
The Boyd family has always been into ice cream. The family of four, dad Chip, mom Charlene, son Chris and daughter Susan would always get ice cream together on Sundays when the children were growing up. On June 21, the Boyds celebrated the 20th anniversary of their Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt location at 5908 W. Sylvania Ave. “In 2002, my dad and I were working together in the automotive industry. We knew the industry wasn’t doing well, so we began to look for something new to do,” said Chris Boyd. In 2003, Chris and his father opened a Handel’s franchise in Sylvania, a company the family was very familiar with.
While Chris and his sister were born and raised in Toledo, their mom and dad were born in Youngstown, Ohio, the headquarters of Handel’s Ice Cream. “Every time we’d visit relatives there, we’d go to Handel’s, one of our favorites,” recalled Boyd. The Handel’s franchise was founded in 1945 by Alice Handel. With 111 corporate and franchise stores in 11 states, the company still uses the founder’s original recipes for their products.
“In 2009, we opened a second Handel’s location at 5655 Secor Rd.,” said Chris Boyd. “In 2015, I bought my father out of the Sylvania location, and at 78 years old, he still owns and runs the Secor store.”
Handel’s Sylvania employs 25 people and is open year-round every day of the week from 11 am to 10 pm, except for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Ice cream flavors offered vary by season and are all made in house daily. “We have a core of 24 flavors that come from our headquarters, and we make about 26 specific to our area,” said Boyd. His best sellers include Strawberry Cheesecake Chunk, Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie, Butter Pecan, and Grand Central Station, which is graham cracker ice cream with graham cracker and chocolate honeycomb pieces. “My peach ice cream will be out soon. It’s only available through the end of August because that’s when local peaches are in season. It’s a top seller,” he added.
Handel’s offers pints and quarts, sundaes, hurricanes, shakes, Handel Pops – ice cream scoops dipped in gourmet chocolate, Boston coolers, floats, non-dairy ices, banana splits, fat-free/no sugar ice cream, sherbets and frozen yogurt. The company also offers catering for all types of events. Customers can choose from sundae bars with toppings, pints with custom labels, Handel Pops, or single scoops.
Boyd is also committed to supporting his community. “We hire many high school students, and we support our local schools and businesses by providing donations for school events and discount cards for school fundraisers.
“The most enjoyable thing about working in this business is I get to work with my father every day. There aren’t many things in this world better than that,” said Boyd. “It’s great to own a small business where I’m able to put smiles on people’s faces through ice cream.”