Behind the Penn State Creamery Renovations

Photo by Mike Leiter

The Berkey Creamery has been a pillar of the Penn State community for over a century now. In fact, our favorite ice cream shop just celebrated its 150th anniversary this past summer with a brand new ice cream flavor. After scooping cones all autumn long, the University Park facility finally took a break and closed its doors for renovations.

Valley sat down with Creamery Manager James Brown to discuss what visitors can expect from the newly reopened salesroom.

“In the ten years that I’ve been here, we’ve watched the customer flow and tried to look at efficiency and effectiveness,” says Brown. “Our goal was to increase maneuverability space and the foot space itself for people to walk around.”

And that’s exactly what they did.

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By moving the beverage island that used to block the freezers to a different area of the store, contractors were able to open up fresh floor space for customers to move around. Before the remodel, “when we had big events, we had lines going on either side. No one could get into the coolers and no one could get into the beverage area” says Brown. “As you can see now, it is completely open. You can stand at the checkout, you can see the freezers, and while there’s a million people getting things from the coolers, you can still go get your beverage without running into each other.”

They also increased the cooler space by about 40% and doubled the size of their freezers. “To the customer that’s huge because now we can display more products and more flavors at one time,” says Brown.

New layout, new floors, new countertops and new coolers will all help make the creamery run as smoothly as possible. On top of that, the renovations helped reinforce what the Creamery is all about.

“We are the Creamery,” says Brown, “And although we sell sandwiches and beverages and chips and things of that nature, we want your first experience when you walk into the door to be, ‘My goodness! They sell ice cream!’ ”

Not only does the new layout scream, ‘ice cream,’ the renovations have helped to emphasize the Creamery’s ties to Penn State as well. “Now when you walk in, there’s no doubt whatsoever. We’re blue and white!” says Brown.

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These past two months marked the first time since the Food Science building was built in 2006 that the Berkey Creamery has been closed for renovations. From December 26th until THON weekend, Creamery fans were stuck buying gallons from other distributors. But now that it’s open and better than ever, there’s nothing stopping you from buying all the flavors you know and love.

Photos taken by Mike Leiter. 

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