FULTON – Big Dipper Ice Cream Parlor has recently gone through a change in ownership. The new owner, Kathy Hotaling, owner of Kathy’s Cakes, officially cut the ribbon June 18.
Hotaling started out baking cakes for her family and friends 12 years ago and opened her bakery in May 2009 because she wanted to bake more for the community.
Kathy’s Cakes reached its 10 year anniversary milestone May 23. With the milestone approaching, Hotaling decided to expand her business of baked goods and sandwiches to include ice cream as well.
“What better way to celebrate than to expand and offer more and move locations?” Hotaling said. “After thinking on it for a couple of months, I thought, ‘Yes, ice cream goes very well with [baked goods]’ and I decided to take a chance and combine the two together.”
For the last three years she had been looking for more parking spots and better visibility from the road, which was something she said had hindered her business growth in the past.
She made the decision to purchase The Big Dipper last October, with encouragement from her husband, Brian.
“Thanks to the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency – Kevin LaMontagne and Pathfinder Bank – Deana Michaels this project became successful,” Hotaling said. “It was great having local agencies to talk to and help with my project.”
Big Dipper, located at 2672 NY-3, will eventually merge into the main location of business for Hotaling.
Hotaling said she plans for both to be open through September, then The Big Dipper will close in September for construction and hopes to merge the two businesses in that location by November or December.
Once both are open, she will offer ice cream year-round. Although she will no longer be selling sandwiches for lunch once the two businesses merge, she still offers catering for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Hotaling is exploring new ice cream recipes like tiramisu, cannoli, and a Keto friendly recipe. She said she is open to suggestions from customers.
Hotaling said over the years she has had customers share baked goods recipes with her and she cherishes them and uses them in her bakery.
For now, Kathy’s Cakes at 129 Cayuga St. will continue selling its baked goods and Big Dipper is open for ice cream, but will include some baked goods there as well.
Hotaling said one negative from The Big Dipper’s location is that it is taking the business out of the city of Fulton, which was not an intention of hers.
“I also feel it is just outside the city and the customer base is Fulton residents and I feel like even though I’m in the town of Volney, I can still cater to the city of Fulton residents and offer them high quality baked goods and ice cream, just being a little ways out,” Hotaling said.
Hotaling also hired employees from Fulton and her manager at Kathy’s Cakes, Jordin, has moved to The Big Dipper.
Members of the Fulton community, including First Ward Councilor Tom Kenyon, came to show their support and to enjoy an ice cream cone.
“I think it is great that the Hotalings want to expand their business,” Kenyon said. “They live in Fulton and moving their business to Volney is not a bad thing. Fulton will still support them as [we] saw today with the mayor and councilors and the mayoral candidates at the ribbon cutting. They will do a great job.”