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Long Beach ice cream shop gives back to the community

Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream in Long Beach keeps its original tradition of providing fresh homemade ice cream and strives to work with the community.

Handel’s offers a range of flavors for their customers to choose from, like “Monkey Business,” their most popular flavor made of banana cake batter with caramel ripples and brownie pieces.

“It’s made each and every day, fresh on site,” said Greg Flaherty, the Long Beach Handel’s owner.

Besides ice cream, Handel’s offers shakes, sundaes, ice cream sandwiches and soft drinks.

“We’re from a generation where we used to make ice cream at home when we were kids with an ice cream machine and this is very similar,” said Kristy Mamelly, a Handel’s customer, of the home-style ice cream they serve.

Handel’s is known for their seasonal flavors. The most popular time of the year are fall and winter when they serve their pumpkin flavor ice cream. Mamelly and her family always make sure to return during the holidays for their favorite.

“They don’t always have pistachio so we’re really happy when they’ve got [it],” Mamelly said.

One of 30 flavors being made to serve the next day.
30 barrels of ice cream are made fresh daily to serve the next day. Photo credit: Emmanuel Barrera

Handel’s ice cream is a franchise that started in Youngstown, Ohio in 1945. Since its founding, Flaherty opened Long Beach Handel’s in the heart of the pandemic on Aug. 26, 2020.

30 to 40 batches of fresh ice cream are made per day and stored in freezers overnight to achieve the perfect texture.

Regional manager Ashley Kawasaki explained that 90 batches can be stored for the next day but in the summer those numbers double.

Kawasaki has been a part of Handel’s Long Beach since the day it opened and has been in charge of hiring, training new employees and prepping the ice creams.

“It’s super fun. We hire good people, I would say it’s like coming to work with your friends,” said Kawasaki about the work environment.

Costumers waiting outside for their ice cream
Handel's Long Beach opened its windows on August 26, 2020. Photo credit: Emmanuel Barrera

Besides Handel’s keeping its original traditions of providing fresh, homemade and high-quality ice cream daily, the shop also partners with Long Beach, Lakewood and surrounding communities to support them in fundraisers.

“My goal is to relate to the community. Everything we do from a marketing and advertising standpoint is grassroots,” said Flaherty.

For the month of November, Handel’s has aligned with two local veteran groups: Irreverent Warriors and Local Contacts.

“We’re asking our customers [if] they would like to round to the nearest dollar to support these two veteran groups, in return I personally have matched the first $1,000,” Flaherty said.

Aside from fundraising, Handel’s provides ice cream cakes for children celebrating their birthdays during their stay at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital.

Family enjoying their ice cream outside of Handel"s
Handel"s strives for good customer service by bringing a positive attitude to its customers. Photo credit: Emmanuel Barrera

Handel’s is located 4.3 miles from Long Beach State, right next to the Long Beach Airport. Their winter hours are Monday through Friday 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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