By Keith Roysdon—
DELAWARE COUNTY, Indiana – When life hands you an antique engine, make ice cream.
That’s the philosophy behind Iceburg Ice Cream, a fast-growing seller of made on site, hand-dipped ice cream and other dessert treats as well as cheeseburgers, nachos and other hearty food. Iceburg is owned and run by a son-and-mother team, Cameron Thornburg and Denise Thornburg.
Iceburg, located at 913 W. State Street in the northeastern Delaware County town of Albany, has been in business less than a year but has already developed a staff and a customer base that feels like family.
“The customers and our employees have become part of our family,” Denise Thornburg said. “They bring their newborn babies in so we can meet them. And all our employees came in on prom night and showed us their outfits.”
Iceburg plans a ribbon cutting for 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2. The public, especially town residents, are invited.
The Thornburg family is well known in the Albany and DeSoto area. Denise Thornburg is the longtime Delaware Township trustee. Other members of the family have operated businesses and served in elected office.
A couple of years ago, Cameron – who is now 19 – was recovering from surgery and was bored. He started making bread and cookies and jam at home. Cameron and Denise started selling the treats at a farmers market in Albany and makers market in Muncie.
Cameron’s father, Chad Thornburg, bought a nearly-100-year-old engine like those displayed at county fairs. He built an ice cream maker that was powered by the engine. Cameron started adapting his jam recipes for use in making ice cream. “It took a bit of an adjustment to get the consistency right,” he said.
The family offered concessions at locations in DeSoto and Albany. Then a former bakery and ice cream shop in downtown Albany came up for sale. Cameron took some money he had saved for college and bought the building, which is next to the IGA supermarket.
From a concessions trailer in 2019 to the opening of Iceburg in January 2021 in the former bakery building, the Thornburgs slowly transitioned from a weekend festival business to a fulltime presence. Along with that, they make the vanilla ice cream sold at Pete’s Bar and Grill, a longtime Albany restaurant.
Iceburg now has 12 employees and space both indoors and outdoors for customers to enjoy favorites like their homemade ice cream, cheeseburgers and barbecue pulled pork sandwiches.
Iceburg is having some of the same supply chain issues as other businesses right now, finding it difficult at times to get hamburger buns, tortilla chips and plastic containers, among other items. “And our fry oil has doubled in price since we opened 10 months ago,” Denise Thornburg said.
With the help of the staff and family members and enthusiasm of customers, Iceburg is doing well, and Cameron said the plan is to be open year-round.
Denise said they’ve been glad to form bonds with the community. When a woman from Oregon contacted Pete’s to ask about catering dessert to her father’s nursing home in the area, Pete’s referred her to Iceburg.
“We took ice cream for all his friends,” Denise said. “She flew in from Oregon and met us at the nursing home.”
Those connections – both business and emotional connections – are important and a large part of what Iceburg wants to do.
About Delaware County Economic Development
Dynamic and forward-thinking economic development is the specialty of Delaware County, Indiana. In 2015 the Delaware County Commissioners privatized the County’s economic development activities. Since that time, the County has developed its own business retention and expansion programs that are in constant contact with the multitude of industry within the County. In addition, efforts to identify and attract various suitable industry throughout the world are undertaken on an annual basis. For more information, contact Brad Bookout at email@example.com.