Interview with Wendy Issokson of Chill on Park — Jewish Boston

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Photo of Chill on Park owners smiling for the camera

Interview with Wendy Issokson of Chill on Park — Jewish Boston

By Matt Robinson

View the full article via here.

It is getting to be ice cream season in Greater Boston (as if it ever is not!) and there is a welcome new player in the field.

Well, actually, Chill on Park is not so new, having just celebrated its first year at 142 Park Street in Dorchester, but the husband-and-wife team behind it – Needhamites Wendy and Alan Issokson – still treat every day like the first and every guest like family. Sourcing and even hiring locally and donating product and proceeds to area organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester, Louis Brown Peace Institute, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, DotHouse Health and College Bound Dorchester, the Issoksons also offer customized ice cream pies for dads, grads, and whomever else deserves a sweet treat, and cater ice cream bars for parties as well. In addition to ice cream sandwiches, pies, and cakes, Chill also has chocolate-dipped frozen bananas, coffee, tea, bagels and Haley House pastries for takeout or delivery. With something yummy for any taste or time of day and special events like weekly Family Nights, monthly story hours for younger neighbors and regular community meetings for more established ones, Chill on Park remains a welcome addition to the Fields Corner neighborhood that is well worth leaving yours to discover.

How do you define your venture?

Chill on Park is a small business that brings delicious local products to our Dorchester neighborhoods while giving great part time jobs to kids in these neighborhoods. We have partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester and the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute for hiring most of our local teens.

What gave you the idea?

My husband, Alan, gave me the idea to open the shop. He cares a great deal about Fields Corner. His family has a great legacy of small businesses here, going back to his great grandfather who had a men’s clothing store here in the 1800’s. Alan thought there was a need for a neighborhood shop, serving local ingredients, which would also offer part time jobs to teens in the area. We put all these together in creating Chill on Park. It is a space the community can call its own, serving products made here in MA that you could not get elsewhere in the city. By offering 19 seats, free Wi-Fi and parking, Chill is a great gathering spot for friends or for students or millennials looking for a place to work or study.

Who is your customer base or demographic?

Our demographic is anyone and everyone in the area that likes a good cup of coffee, espresso, cappuccino, ice cream, shakes or smoothies. We strive to have something for everybody.

How do you hope to fit into the market?

We hope to fit into the market by offering variety and quality. If we do not have what we are looking for, you only have to ask. We now carry pints of vegan ice cream, soup, bagels, and more. It’s not one size fits all. It’s what works for you.

What do you most need to be a success?

We really want the community to embrace the shop, use it as a gathering place, for meetings, birthday parties and for catering. We offer free WiFi and parking to our customers.