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Does anybody remember Shields’ ice cream parlor?

Ben Steelman

Actually, there were a number of Shields Ice Cream Shoppes around Wilmington from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. The flagship was in the North 17 Shopping Center at 4306 Market St., Wilmington [Map this] (3934 Market St. prior to a street renumbering around 1970).

The owners were Hal and Opalruth Shields of Wrightsville Beach; Carl F. Powell was the original manager at the North 17 location. In 1967, Shields advertised full-course meals, but within a year or two (according to the Wilmington City Directory), the menu was simplified to “Sandwiches, Ice Cream, Desserts, Carry-Out Orders.”

(The questioner, an employee at Shields around 1970, remembers the customers who’d crowd in after church services on Sundays; each of them left a quarter tip.)

The Market Street location was so popular, Shields soon became a mini-chain. From 1970 through 1974, a Shields was located at 44 Causeway Drive in Wirghtsville Beach. By the mid-1970s, Shields also operated ice cream parlors at 1401 Floral Parkway, Wilmington [Map this], near Hanover Center, and at 4404 Shipyard Blvd., Wilmington [Map this], at Long Leaf Mall.

Scott Nunn, whose mom worked at another store in the North 17 Shopping Center, remembers that vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with strawberries, was a Shields specialty.

In 1979, the old Shields locations at North 17 and at Long Leaf Mall became Mayberry’s Ice Cream outlets. The Shields on Floral Parkway soldiered on under the old name for another year or so.

User-contributed question by:
Betsy Casey

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8 Responses to “ Does anybody remember Shields’ ice cream parlor?”

  1. On February 19, 2010 at 4:58 pm Mike wrote:

    My wife worked at Shields on Market street when we were first married and while she was in college. They just don’t make ice cream sundries like that anymore.

  2. On February 27, 2010 at 1:14 pm Joyce wrote:

    I remember Shields use to get and OrangeAde–(real oranges) and go to the Cinema at Long Leaf Mall, and yes I also so remember the great times and friends from the Mil-Jo.

  3. On March 1, 2010 at 11:00 am Debbie Brown wrote:

    I worked at Shields located in the North 17 Shopping Center while attending New Hanover High School, 1968. I remember serving the Lime Floats that the servers would light the sugar cube on fire before serving. It was a top seller in those days, too, as all the kids would get a kick out of seeing their ice cream floats on fire.

  4. On March 4, 2010 at 12:03 am Debbie L. McMullen wrote:

    I remember going after church on Sunday night and when someone had a birthday we would get a giant bowl of different kinds of ice cream called the KITCHEN SINK. It sure was good. Wish someone would open up another ice cream shoppe like Shields. Swensens was good. They also had the best wait staff always so nice. Remember the owner would always have on white shirt and pants and wore a apron. Great sandwiches too. Just thinking about it makes me want some Ice Cream. They sold only Maola Ice Creme then. Would drive down the Wrightsville beach and get some at times , and after church on Wednesday nights… what memories

  5. On March 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm Linda Hinton wrote:

    Oh yes, I remember! My brother won a 2-seater bicycle from Shields, plus he ate the “kitchen sink” in record time! Me personally? I fainted at the Floral Pkwy location, twice!

  6. On June 27, 2010 at 7:09 am Ann wrote:

    All the Shields Ice Cream Shops were a popular place for the high school crowd, especially on “date” nights. My sister and I would also stop there after our shopping trips downtown. My favorite, and never matched since, was their raspberry sundae. Gone but not forgotten!

  7. On July 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm carrie wrote:

    I plan to share your posts and memories with my grandparents, they will be thrilled! If you are interested, Hal and Opal are both still in Wilmington, as are there 3 kids, whom you likely also remember, if you worked at one of the shops.

    So you know, Hal began making his own ice cream, using Maola milk/creme, many years before their doors closed/switched hands. I still believe this is the reason the ice cream, regardless of your favorite, was the best out there…he made every batch with love…he was passionate about the ice cream!

  8. On March 3, 2011 at 6:57 pm Kim wrote:

    Ah…the Kitchen Sink and the flaming sugar cubes. What memories. My fav was the Icecream Breakfast and I still make my own till this day. A scoop of vanilla ice cream, Frosted Flakes and strawberries. YUM!

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