CORTLAND — Abbey Miller Bacconi grew up on a farm in Gustavus, Ohio and spent a sizable amount of time during her childhood at a local ice cream shop, Shifflet’s Delight, a few miles down the road.
“I was like, ‘If that ever comes up for sale I want to buy it.' And it did shortly after my husband and I got married. … And we bought it in 2008,” Miller Bacconi said.
Bacconi’s Lickety Split, 4194 Greenville Road, was originally established in the 1950’s, but under Miller Bacconi’s ownership it’s now known for dairy-free and low-sugar ice cream options, as well as unique menu items like loaded mac-and-cheese bowls, ice cream nachos and irish stout ice cream.
Miller Bacconi said it’s normal for a line of cars circled around the building on most nights — though the journey to success wasn’t always sweet.
When Bacconi’s Lickety Split first opened, Miller Bacconi was a teacher at Jefferson Area Local Schools and spent her summers dedicated to the ice cream shop. Her husband, Douglas Bacconi, played a vital role in building Bacconi’s Lickety Split from the ground up.
On June 26, 2011, Douglas was killed in a private plane crash, leaving Miller Bacconi widowed with their 2-year-old daughter, Alinee, and their 5-month-old twins, Sofia and Stella.
“When that happened, it was in the summertime in the middle of our season and we shut the shop immediately. The next year, I actually leased it to a friend, because I just wasn't able to run it,” she said.
Shortly after Douglas’ death, Miller Bacconi met Bryan Boyle, who was also recently widowed. Bryan’s former wife, Candice, died giving birth to their second child.
The couple, who currently reside in Salem, married in 2012 and reopened Bacconi’s Lickety Split in 2013.
“It was hard because I went from having three kids, working full time as a teacher and owning the shop … and all in a year to having no husband, no job and [then remarrying with] now five kids in a new house and a new town,” Miller Bacconi said. “So after about a year of doing that, I just realized I needed to get out of the house so that’s kind of how [I decided to reopen Bacconi’s Lickety Split].”
Since the reopening, Miller Bacconi has made it her mission to “create something that’s different” for customers.
In addition to their frozen treats — which include over 20 flavors of soft serve, dairy-free Dole Whip, specialty sundaes, flurries and more — Bacconi’s Lickety Split also serves a full menu of appetizers, burgers, chicken, seafood, hot dogs and pulled pork. Bacconi said the majority of their meat is locally sourced.
Miller Bacconi said the most notable menu items are the loaded fries, including buffalo chicken fries, mac and cheese fries, pulled pork fries, poutine fries and more.
“We sell hundreds and hundreds of pounds of french fries a week. Like, I get a couple hundred pounds of potatoes in a week. So, a lot of french fries,” she said.
Aside from owning Bacconi’s Lickety Split, Miller Bacconi and Boyle are franchise owners of two Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt shops — 320 W State St. in Alliance across from University of Mount Union and 133 Town Center Ave. inside Columbiana’s Firestone Farms. In 2019 the couple opened a Humble Donut Co. franchise inside of their Alliance Orange Leaf location as well.
“It’s a unique experience for my husband and I to be on both sides of, you know, primary ownership and then franchise ownership as well,” she said.
“We would really like to expand Bacconi’s Lickety Split. We haven't pinned down a new location yet, but I hope to expand that business. We're actively looking,” she added.
Bacconi’s Lickety Split is open spring through fall, typically March through October. Current hours of operation from May through August are daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.