‘Harper’s Ice Cream Company’ opening in Phoenix this weekend

PHOENIX, Ore. – There’s a new ice cream shop getting ready to open in Phoenix this weekend.

It may be cold outside, but Harper’s Ice Cream Company will open its doors Saturday, November 26.

Owner Doug Harper is counting down the days. He said, “You know, just like any small business that opens, different obstacles, but we weren’t going to be deterred and we’re super excited to open our business, open our hearts and our ice cream to the community. We’re really excited.”

Harper wasn’t always in the business industry. For 35 years, Doug Harper was a licensed physical therapist in Northern California.

“I actually had a great career, I really did enjoy it,” Harper said. “Being a part of people’s lives, especially that intrinsically, it was really rewarding.”

With COVID the last few years — especially with health care as challenging as it was — Harper said it was time to step away. He knew that if he never pursued this is a second act he would regret it. 

“I’m so happy I chased my dream because this is what happens when you chase those dreams, they actually happen,” Harper said.

This dream came to Harper about four years ago. His granddaughter was born in Hawaii and during the first visit he was exposed to in his words amazing frozen desserts.

“A bee stung me, I had to come back and figure out how to make it,” Harper explained. “Something snapped inside of me and i had to do this.”

Harper said in a lot of ways, physical therapy and ice cream making are polar opposites. But there is one thing from PT he’s bringing with him as he’s opening up the ice cream shop. Harper believes his experience listening and working with patients can help him connect to customers in Phoenix and the surrounding areas.

“Harper’s… is me, it’s us, it’s my family,” he said. “That’s what it is, so I want people to connect to it to realize that they’re connecting with us.”

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