Yester Years Owner Says Era Was a Happier Time

By MaryGrace Kelleher

Hampton Union, Tuesday, June 26, 2012

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Ron Plourde, Yester Years Ice Cream Shoppe owner, in the 1950s-style parlor.
[MaryGrace Kelleher photo]

HAMPTON — Step into the Yester Years Ice Cream Shoppe at Hampton Beach, and you will find yourself transported to a time when poodle skirts were fashionable and Elvis was king.

The retro-themed shop, adorned with a 1958 Harley-Davidson, life-size Betty Boop statue and retro refrigerator, is the fruition of Ron Plourde’s teenage dream. With the support of his wife, Julie, and two children, Mitch and Rachel, he left his job at Hewett-Packard to become a small business owner.

Plourde, an ice cream lover, chose a 1950s-style parlor for the nostalgia the period produces.

“The 1950s were a simpler time, people were happier, more social,” Plourde said. “Today we are so high-tech.”

The Plourdes bought rental property at Hampton a few years ago and fell in love with the beach. The rentals also carry the nostalgic theme with retro furnishings and style, he said.

Plourde said he is dedicated to serving the local community.

“Small businesses are extremely important to the community,” Plourde said.

Plourde said he works with local suppliers for items such as pastries and dried goods. Bliss Brothers Dairy, located in Attleboro, Mass., supplies the ice cream for the shop. There are six local employees, mostly high school students, working in the shop. Plourde said he’s concerned with getting jobs to the people from the area, as well as promoting success by encouraging his employees to work hard in school.

Plourde’s wife, son and daughter will also work in the shop.

“It’s awesome that we can work together,” Plourde said.

The shop, though encountering a rainy day at its grand opening, has been a hit with locals and tourists alike, he said.

“The ice cream is extremely creamy. The prices are reasonable, and the presentation is perfect,” said Larry Francis, a Hampton resident.

The shop offers a wide range of flavors. A recent favorite, salted caramel chocolate pretzel, has been a huge success, according to Plourde.

Plourde plans to expand the menu to include food options beyond ice cream as the summer continues. Live entertainment keeping with the 1950s theme is planned for the summer, too.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for July 3.


Yester Years Ice Cream Shoppe

Address: 19 Ocean Blvd., Hampton

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

Retro decor is featured at Yester Years Ice Cream Shoppe.
[MaryGrace Kelleher photo]