NORTH CANTON Pav’s Creamery is branching out into Stark County.
The company, founded in 1969 as a summertime ice cream shop in the Portage Lakes, will open its third location in North Canton in early May on Main Street. Pav’s Owner Nik Pappas said he has been looking at North Canton almost since the day his Green location opened in 2015.
Pappas said part of the hold up was that he couldn’t find a location he liked as he explored the Hoover District along with many different plazas in North Canton. The building Pav's is moving into, 708 S. Main St., is the one Pappas always wanted but it was never for rent.
"I would go out of my way to go by that place once a month," Pappas said.
The location became empty around Christmas and Pappas tried to contact the owner to no avail. Once he saw a for rent sign go up, he jumped on the space quickly and struck a deal.
Pappas said he liked the property because of it being near El Rincon and Deli Ohio.
The new North Canton location is expected to offer the same menus as the Green location, including adult milkshakes, gourmet hot dogs, flatbreads and pot pies. At first, sales of the adult shakes were slow, Pappas said, but now with eight different flavors, anywhere from 60-80 are being served per-day.
Pappas said there are a few hurdles to clear such as getting a liquor license, but he said so far working with the city of North Canton has been great. The building Pav's is moving into was at one time an Isaly's Ice Cream Shop. Pappas said he wants to give the new location an old-school ice cream shop feel with a big island and an ice cream bar so people can watch the ice cream being made.
"We kind of want to bring it back to its roots," Pappas said.
Pappas, a North Canton native, said he remembers riding his bike to the building when it was a video store.
"It is nice to bring something back to where I grew up," Pappas said.
Pappas said the additional location is a direct result of the Green location being successful. He said when the Green location opened he wasn’t sure how it would perform being open year-round and being in a plaza. His family was used to just running the ice cream stand during the summer months in the Portage Lakes.
"We wouldn’t do another store if Green didn’t do well," Pappas said.
Pavs will have between 15-30 employees at the new North Canton location.
Pappas said one of the biggest challenges is finding 21-year-olds who can work in the store to make the adult milkshakes.
"Not many 21-year-olds want to work in an ice cream shop," Pappas said.
He said he is most exciting about expanding into Stark County and building a new customer base.
"The hardest part for me is getting the product in their mouth," Pappas said.
Pav’s Creamery has been recognized several times including being voted Best Ice Cream in Northeast Ohio by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and voted Best Ice Cream by the Akron Beacon Journal.