One of the best things about Oxford is there is a shop for almost anything you could want or need, but up until August, there were no specialty ice cream stores.
Now, situated in a familiar spot on the Square where the bar Locals used to be, a new ice cream shop, The Oxford Creamery, has just opened, and the person behind it is Oxford native, Hudson Magee, 28.
Upon entering The Oxford Creamery, you’ll see a careful balance of nostalgia and modernism in the shop’s design. The white tile is reminiscent of an old soda fountain shop, while other elements, such as the exposed brick wall and modern light fixtures, remind you it’s still 2019.
Magee was born in Oxford and lived here until he was 12 before moving to Chattanooga to attend high school. He later returned to Oxford to attend the University of Mississippi, graduating with a degree in art and minor in entrepreneurship, two subjects that play a clear role at The Oxford Creamery.
After college, Magee moved to Bozeman, Montana. “I was really into fly fishing, so I started a fly fishing reel business and moved out there to do that more,” he said, “but I got a good job doing tech sales, and then just fished in my free time. So I just moved out there for the way of life that Montana has to offer. It’s very different from Oxford.”
Magee has a background in business that helped him start The Oxford Creamery. “I minored in entrepreneurship, and I’ve started a few businesses before this too,” he said.
In the basement of The Oxford Creamery, Magee still runs his online outdoor fly fishing reel shop. “It’s all online sales, so it’s a direct consumer outdoor gear company,” he said.
He also started a popsicle business in college. “I’ve done a few things like that, and learned a lot from them and kind of just put all of that experience into this,” he said. “My parents, too, have always owned businesses here in Oxford, so they were big helps to me, too.”
Magee said he noticed similarities between Oxford and other towns he has lived in, Chattanooga and Bozeman, and there were always good ice cream shops in both of those places.
“I’ve always found ice cream shops that were like this,” he said, “selling craft ice cream, making it from scratch, were really cool places in both of those towns that I lived.”
After he and his wife had a baby in Bozeman, he said he wanted to return to Oxford to be closer to family.
“And that’s when I started thinking about the ice cream business, The Oxford Creamery, and it kept coming back to me,” he said. “I kept thinking it would work really well in a college town. I was doing tech sales at the time, and working in an ice cream shop sounded a lot more fun, so I just decided to go for it.”
Magee said owning a business, especially one that is so community-focused is rewarding, and he has gotten to know many people within the town.
“The amount of work is a lot,” he said, “but it’s really rewarding to see it when it pays off, when there’s a line out the door and people are loving the ice cream we’re making… It’s really cool to see it working when we put so many months of work into getting it started.”
Archie Breland, who has been employed by Magee since the start of The Oxford Creamery in August, said, “It’s really fun to get to be a part of something new, and it’s the first one of these in Oxford, so that’s sort of special.
“It’s quite something. I’ve worked in a couple of other ice cream shops in other places, one in Birmingham and one in Denver, and this is the best ice cream I’ve ever been around, best owner I’ve ever been around, best chef I’ve ever been around,” said Breland.
The best way to describe the Sweetcorn Blueberry Crisp ice cream, one of the flavors offered at Magee’s shop, is to use one of his own quotes:
“It’s traditional and nostalgic with a modern twist,” he said. “Ice cream is a very nostalgic thing, and we’re trying to creatively push the limits with the flavors.”
In addition to Sweetcorn Blueberry Crisp, The Oxford Creamery has a variety of flavors, including classics, such as vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, as well as signature flavors, such as Ole Town Road, Oxford Coma, Banana Puddin, and even Sweet Tea.
What sets The Oxford Creamery’s ice cream apart from other ice cream in town is the ice cream is made from scratch using fresh, quality ingredients that are locally sourced. They offer seasonal flavors and vegan and dairy-free options.
Overall, Magee may be described best as one might describe his unique brand of ice cream: locally sourced, but pushing creative boundaries in the realm of frozen desserts.