SALEM — Some people say you can never have enough ice cream shops.
Not having enough ice cream shops doesn’t appear to be a dilemma in Salem. They have that problem licked.
Two new shops have just opened at opposite ends of town — Moo’s Place at 15 Ermer Road in North Salem and Jay Gee’s at 327 S. Broadway.
They have joined several other ice cream shops in Salem, including Findeisen’s Ice Cream and Hawksie’s Ice Cream Factory, to name two. But Moo’s co-owner Steve Larocca and Richard Giuffrida, one of four brothers who own Jay Gee’s, aren’t worried about competition.
Both men said they stand behind the reputations they have built up over the years as local producers of homemade ice cream.
Giuffrida and his family have owned and operated Jay Gee’s Ice Cream and Family Fun Center in Methuen since 1982.
What better way to celebrate their 30th anniversary than by opening a new shop, he said. It opened two weeks ago.
“The response has been excellent,” Giuffrida said. “We’ve had a warm welcome in New Hampshire.”
Larocca and his wife, Christy, bring their business to Salem after successfully running Moo’s Place in Derry since 2004.
Although Moo’s celebrated its grand opening in Salem on Sunday, it’s been selling ice cream at its new shop in North Salem Village since late June, Steve Larocca said.
“We’ve been up and running,” he said.
Both men said when it came time to expand their businesses, they had no hesitation in choosing Salem. Their new locations are seeing plenty of customers, they said.
That was evident yesterday, where some local residents came to cool off with ice cream on a hot summer afternoon.
At Moo’s, Jennifer Wilson of Salem and her children, Kaitlyn, 12, Chris, 11, Emily, 8, and Madison, 5, smiled and laughed as they ate their ice cream.
Over at Jay Gee’s, Connie and Tim Barnes of Salem enjoyed a cool treat as well.
Both Steve Larocca and Giuffrida said there’s room — and enough customers — in Salem or multiple ice cream shops. They’re not afraid of competition from the other shops or each other.
“We encourage competition,” Giuffrida said. “We think there is room for all of us. I would like to think we can all work together.”
Giuffrida operates Jay Gee’s along with his brothers, Joseph, Dan and Rob Giuffrida. His son, Jake, and nephew, Joseph, also work for the family business, he said.
Jay Gee’s is at the former Hooter’s restaurant site. It’s also the new home of Jake’s Wayback Burgers, which is to open later this month. Jake’s is part of a national chain.
Jay Gee’s features seven serving windows, as well as a walk-up counter inside, Richard Giuffrida said. The shop serves nearly 70 flavors of ice cream in addition to frozen yogurt and Italian ice.
The new 3,640-square-foot building also includes a large patio with outdoor seating. Giuffrida said they hope to remain open at least through Christmas, selling ice cream and holiday cakes.
Moo’s offers more than 40 flavors of ice cream and 24 flavors of soft serve, in addition to frozen yogurt and Italian ice, Steve Larocca said.
The 1,800-square-foot shop has a 20-seat indoor parlor, walk-up window service and outdoor seating with several picnic tables, he said.