Local ice cream shop owner looks back at the past five years
The Santa Clara
January 18, 2018
Santa Clara’s beloved Mission City Creamery will be closing its doors for good at the end of the month.
A block away from campus, Mission City has been a fixture in the Santa Clara community since its opening five years ago on January 5, 2013.
Owner Chris Leahy will be moving across the country to his family home in Cape Cod following the closing. “I went to Mission City on my first visit to campus and I won’t forget it. Mission City will be missed,” sophomore Lauren Houge said.
Prior to opening Mission City, Leahy had been making ice cream as a hobby for over 20 years.
Since 1995, he and his family hosted ice cream socials at their home on Market Street that had any number of attendees ranging from 10 to 330.
The socials were complete with about 25 flavors of ice cream and a fully stocked sundae bar with homemade hot fudge and caramel.
“My goal was to open up a place where people felt comfortable coming in and just hanging out,” Leahy said.
On the 40 degrees Fahrenheit opening day of the shop, friends and family flooded the store and it has been that way ever since.
During any visit to Mission City before its final closing, loyal patrons can be heard expressing their appreciation for the ice cream parlor.
“I love sitting at that spot and just talking to people,” Leahy said as he pointed to the counter across from the classic red leather-upholstered stools at the entrance of the shop.
The community surrounding Mission City has always been close-knit. Another employee often seen behind the counter is Ken Wilson. His family previously owned Wilson’s Bakery, where he was the head baker.
At Mission City, he lent his talents to making ice cream cakes. Wilson has been Leahy’s “backbone” for the past four and a half years.
In addition to Wilson, Leahy has employed students from almost every high school in the area including St. Francis, Wilcox, Bellarmine, Presentation and Notre Dame.
“Making the ice cream was always a joy but it was really about the customers, the kids especially, watching them grow up,” Leahy said.
Leahy expressed gratitude to the university for being a big supporter of his local business.
University marketing classes in particular promoted Mission City in class projects, but the eatery reached the entire student body, as well as the greater Santa Clara community with its welcoming atmosphere.
Rocko’s Ice Cream Tacos will move into the space Mission City currently resides in. Owner Lori Phillips has been operating out of a food truck, but will now set some roots down in Santa Clara.
Jan. 31 will be the last day Mission City Creamery will be open.
Contact Meghan McLaughlin at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852