About this Business
From Our Editors
As a fourth-generation owner of Johnson's Real Ice Cream, Matt Wilcoxon is proud to distribute ice-cream flavors to more than 300 restaurants, help mastermind flavors with local companies, and avoid being locked in the ice-cream freezer again. Back when he was 12 and cleaning tables, “I was the one the employees always picked on,” he recalls. On a particularly creative night, the teenage staff hosed him down and shut him in the freezer. “I find it funny now,” Matt says chuckling.
Despite a trial-by-fire beginning, Matt knew during college that he wanted to run the family business. “We have always been Columbus' original homemade ice cream company with an emphasis on quality ingredients and staying true to my family roots with many of the original family recipes,” he says. At the store—still in its original 1950s location and still using the family's original recipes—diners snack on classic and innovative flavors such as salty caramel chocolate pretzel, chocolate fudge brownie, and Buckeye fever. Some flavors are now also sold in select Kroger grocery stores. An expansive outdoor patio welcomes diners with 50 seats, and bands croon sweet tunes in temperate weather. The shop also offers deli sandwiches, catering services, and wholesaling opportunities.