Handel’s Ice Cream Shop Debuts in Downingtown

by Alice

Downingtown welcomes the newest addition to its culinary scene with the grand opening of Handel’s of Downingtown, an ice cream shop dedicated solely to the art of crafting delectable frozen treats.


Located at 520 E. Lancaster Ave., this new establishment boasts a daily rotation of 47 flavorful options, all meticulously churned to perfection.

Owned by Maria and Andy Rick, who also helm another franchise store in Royersford among the 140 across the United States, Handel’s prides itself on its singular focus: “We do one thing really well,” Maria Rick affirms, “It’s making fresh ice cream every single day.”

The secret lies in the freshness, with all ice cream served ranging from one to four days old. Maria explains, “What sets us apart is that the texture is hard but with a soft consistency because the ice cream doesn’t get frozen.”

The shop’s menu evolves monthly based on customer preferences, ensuring a diverse array of offerings in its 1,900-square-foot space. Maria emphasizes, “If you like it you can buy it; the lowest selling ice creams are replaced.”

Specialties for this month include tantalizing flavors such as chocolate peanut butter brownie, birthday cake, butter pecan, and the intriguingly named “oooh…dough,” alongside classics like vanilla. Handel’s also caters to dietary preferences with vegan options made without milk, as well as selections featuring almond milk and sorbet.

To accompany the indulgent scoops, Handel’s offers an array of cones, from classic waffle to dipped waffle and sugar, along with various toppings and both dipped and undipped waffle bowls.

For the Ricks, the joy of running Handel’s extends beyond the delicious treats. Maria delights in serving the public and witnessing the happiness on customers’ faces, especially the children. Andy echoes her sentiment, expressing his satisfaction in meeting new people and brightening their day with Handel’s offerings.

With a staff of approximately 35, mostly comprised of high school students, the Ricks see their business as an opportunity to nurture and instill valuable work ethics in young employees.

Transitioning from their previous careers—Maria as an accountant and Rick as a chemical engineer—the couple has found fulfillment in their venture, transforming their family dynamic and embracing their newfound roles as business owners.

Excitement permeated the air during the grand opening ceremony, where the first 100 patrons in line were generously rewarded with free small cones or ice cream bowls, redeemable weekly for a year. The event drew early risers, with the first eager customer queuing up at 5 a.m., and all certificates distributed by 10 a.m.

Handel’s of Downingtown welcomes ice cream enthusiasts seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., promising an unforgettable experience for all who indulge in its sweet offerings.


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