Downtown Kingston is only getting busier as the unofficial end of summer collides with the back-to-school transition. With the students’ quickly integrating back into our limestone city, downtown hotspots will be ready for the indubitable rushes. Despite the seasonal changes, ice cream is still a popular treat as the cool air sweeps the streets – and legendary White Mountain Homemade Ice cream continues to draw in locals and visitors alike despite the heavy competition nearby.
White Mountain, established by Tom Schreider, set up shop in 1985 on Ontario Street and manufactured ice cream with only natural ingredients for the public, developing a reputation of arguably the best ice cream in town. The famous fresh homemade waffle cones contribute to White Mountain’s popularity and it appears the fame has yet to fade. For several weeks, I must admit to being an extreme regular at the local parlor and though my taste buds are always satisfied by the inventive flavours White Mountain offers, including the popular Bee’s Nest and White Mountain Mix, I am surprised the Kingston establishment remains a cash only shop.
Unlike its neighboring contenders Mio Gelato next door and fro-yo franchise Menchies a few blocks up, White Mountain only accepts cash and it could be argued this may be detrimental to the local business in the future. Debit and Credit cards are becoming the future of finance as companies strive to make payments more efficient by eliminating the need to carry change around. I neither agree nor disagree with the need to carry cash on you at all times, but I would agree that not all people – especially students – have cash on them at all times.
I have witnessed a few couples at White Mountain in only the last few weeks look blank faced when they realize they can only pay by cash, followed by a mad rummage through pockets for some cash to pay for their treat before it melts. With no ATM onsite, it would be fair to suggest this could cost White Mountain some customers.
To be fair, White Mountain regulars are obviously aware of the cash only aspect and it is apparent with the constant line-up weaving through the establishment, most Kingstonians are more than ready to adhere to the no plastic rule. However, visitors and tourists looking forward to trying out the popular local ice cream bar may have a hard time coming up with cash on the spot; especially if a group arrives with no cash yet orders a few small cones. With a small waffle cone costing well over $3.00, a bill is likely needed.
It is clear White Mountain has not yet been affected by the cash only rule as it continues to be a celebrated part of Kingston’s waterfront and perhaps with the ever budding fan base, the parlor will continue churning every year.
Should the local hotspot introduce debit and credit or will it continue to thrive due to its renowned homemade taste?
Thanks to Robert Fairchild for the photo displayed above.