In what is a sure sign of spring in the Sebago Lakes region, The Mosquito ice cream shop opened up on Friday for the 2014 season. Until summer, Raymond's hot spot for delicious ice cream will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Once summer arrives the hours and days will expand, and The Mosquito will continue to serve its happy customers until Columbus Day in October.
Owner Travis McClellan and longtime girlfriend Darcy Foley have been running the family business now for seven years. "Mom and Dad opened it in 1996 to give the kids in the area a place to work, and serve great ice cream," said McClellan. For the first 11 years The Mosquito was run out of a tiny shack next to the Sunset Variety store in Raymond. Upon taking it over from his parents, McClellan, with the help of Foley, moved the business across the parking lot from Sunset, and into a beautifully built, rustic-looking ice cream parlor, complete with sliding barn doors. The business also features a screened-in seating area, as well as many benches and places to enjoy your desserts outside.
"We carry about 50 flavors,” said Foley,” with some of our most popular being Moose Traxx, Peanut Butter Iditarod and the old classic--Mint Chocolate Chip. We are looking forward to another great season." The Mosquito thrives with its local fans, summer camps and summer visitors as well. "The Summer camps are great to us, Agawam, Nashoba, Wawenock, Kingsley Pines, Camp Hinds, as well as many others, all of them come here and are so supportive, like the Sunshine staff--they are always bringing groups over and we are so appreciative of that," said McClellan. Anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 patrons come in search of The Mosquito's frozen delights annually.
When asked why customers were 'camping out' in front of the shop early on Friday McClellan replied, "It's springtime, and that's just the enthusiasm and anticipation the warmer weather brings around here. We have some loyal fans who get very excited each year, with some who like to be the first ones to get a cone every season." The Mosquito has featured Blake's Ice Cream from Manchester, New Hampshire for the last 15 years,...and to the shop's customers, it is the best around.
The Mosquito will employ eight to 10 young adults in the summer, with a couple girls coming back for their ninth season. "We go all out on customer service, you can go a lot of places to get an ice cream, here we focus on making it a happy experience with happy people to serve you," said McClellan. Coming soon, The Mosquito will add a gift shop, complete with t-shirts and other apparel in a small building near the ice cream parlor. "The plan is to keep building on what we've been doing, improving the shop as well as the grounds here, to make this the best and most happy experience for our customers as we can," McClellan said.
The Mosquito is located at 1333 Roosevelt Trail, in Raymond. The phone number is 207-655-BUZZ (2899). The Mosquito can also be found on Facebook. Darcy and Travis can be found working at the Arlberg Ski Shop when not scooping ice cream.