A day in the life of an Ice Cream ‘Slabber’

In the ice cream business, sometimes the most important thing is your slab. Your marble slab, that is.

The Marble Slab Creamery, located at 127 South Main Street, is the perfect place to cool down after a long day studying. And Gina Manning, senior, might be the perfect employee.

“Gina’s a great worker,” said Deb Kennard, owner of Marble Slab. Kennard mentioned that Manning is always getting compliment cards.

Her other employees are just as important to business. “We have the best workers in town of anyplace,” Kennard said.

Manning, a marketing major, has been working at Marble Slab since September of 2005, a significant portion of the store’s life, which only opened in March of last year.

The Marble Slab Creamery is a place known for its unique ice cream, offering everything from classic chocolate to unconventional cheesecake. However, one flavor rises above all the rest at this local establishment, according to Manning.

“Birthday cake, by far, is the most popular,” she said. Along with this tasty confection, sprinkles and gummy bears are the most popular add-ins. And what are add-ins? They are the entire reason for the slab. When a customer chooses a flavor, they can pick toppings to have mixed in utilizing the iconic marble slab, which is kept at near-freezing temperatures.

“Every worker has their own technique,” said Manning, referring to mixing on the slab. “They teach us how to do it in the beginning, but then as you go it adapts to however you feel.”

Besides mixing and serving ice cream, Manning and other employees must also make cakes.

“It’s a layer of regular cake, yellow or chocolate, then whatever ice cream you want and whatever icing,” explained Manning. For those concerned about their image, the Marble Slab also offers low-fat and sugar-free yogurt to satisfy your frozen-treat needs.

“I like the no-sugar-added vanilla,” said Manning. “It’s good.”

The Marble Slab also makes its own ice cream. Manning and others order the mix from the head franchise and use that as their base of sweet cream. They then add the flavorings, put it in a machine which mixes it up, and then the whole thing is thrown in a freezer to harden.

The demand for the home-made flavor of Marble Slab’s treats slackens during the winter, but in the summer, demand picks up in a big way.

“In the summertime, it’s like out the door busy, it’s crazy,” explained Manning. “We usually have both slabs ” in the summertime and on the weekends we usually open them both up. We have, like, eight people working back there.”

To Manning, the thing that separates Marble Slab from other ice cream places is the service.

“We pride ourselves on really being friendly, on getting to know the customer, making it more comfortable for them to really jump into the experience,” she said.

While there are many perks to Manning’s job, helping customers being one of them, there is one benefit that stands above the rest.

“We get free ice cream every time we work,” she said. And what is her favorite flavor and mixing?

“Peanut butter,” Manning said, “with peanut butter.”