Page Dairy Mart on the South Side of Pittsburgh celebrates 70 years of sweet treats

Chuck Page started working for the family business when he was 10.

He cleaned milkshake collars – stainless steel attachments that were used to prevent ice from splashing off the top of a paper cup when mixing ingredients.

Fifty-seven years later, he’s still at the milkshake machine.

“I love ice cream,” said Page, whose great-grandfather Charles Alexander Page founded Page Dairy Mart in 1951. It is located on the corner of Becks Run Road and East Carson Street on the South Side of Pittsburgh. His great-great-grandfather bought the land from the Hays family in 1916. The Page family comes from West Mifflin.

“I don’t mind cleaning these collars. It’s a necessary part of business. It’s what you do to keep things going. “

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune review

Chuck Page, whose great-grandfather founded Page Dairy Mart on the South Side of Pittsburgh in 1951, adds ingredients for a milkshake to a mug on March 8th.

Page Dairy Mart opened for the 70th time on Friday.

That’s a lot of milkshakes.

“We have quality products and use the best ingredients,” said Page when mixing a South Side Milkshake on Monday – it’s a combination of a milkshake and an ice cream sundae.

One reason the business lasted seven decades is to use fresh baked goods to make sundaes of ice cream like moist brownies, soft cinnamon buns, and large chunks of the famous giant 4 inch wide chocolate chip cookies from Nancy B’s Bakery in West Homestead. Page’s works with Waffallonia in Squirrel Hill on the Belgian waffle sundae.

“We have products you can’t get anywhere else,” said Margie Page Prusia, the daughter of Page, who bought the company from her father in March 2020 with her husband Jared.

The ice cream parlor was closed ten days later due to the pandemic. When it reopened for online orders, there were 40 orders in the first minute.

The store is a destination, said Chuck Page, who now works for his daughter.

“It will snow and people will stand in line,” he said. “The other day there was a woman who was wearing a parka with a fur hood and gloves, but when she got her ice cream, she smiled. It’s a happy business. “

He said there’s nothing like a warm apple dumpling, cinnamon bun, brownie, or chocolate chip cookie with ice cream in hot fudge or caramel and whipped cream.

“Ice cream is just a simple pleasure,” said Chuck Page.

Mike Runco, owner of Nancy B’s Cookies, said he and Chuck Page are supportive of each other.

“I enjoy the camaraderie of working with him,” said Runco. “I learned so much from him because he knows how to run a business. Companies like us have to team up to make it happen. His ice cream and our biscuits are the perfect combination. “

The ice cream parlor is traditionally open from March to the end of October. Last off-season they installed a sound system to play music while customers wait. In the first two days, they went through 324 chocolate chip cookies. They have an average of 4,000 cones per month in spring and fall and 6,000 or more per month in summer. They are known to wait for 60 people in 15 minutes and take care of customers after hours.

“My father taught me that you should never turn down business,” said Chuck Page. “Pittsburgh is part of who we are. We are proud of our city and value every customer.

You’re sure to agree, said Dennis Brooks Jr. from Beltzhoover.

“Mister. The site is amazing,” said Brooks. “He’s always believed in diversity and included everyone. I’ve been a customer since at least 1995. The staff is great. They know me by name.”

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JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune review

Anthony Morell is pouring vanilla ice cream in a mug at Page Dairy Mart on the South Side of Pittsburgh on March 8th.

Anthony Morell has been in the business for four years.

“I really like the environment here,” he said as he made a chocolate chip cookie sundae.

Page’s also serves cones, ice cream sandwiches, and arctic strudel – ice cream combined with candy – oreos, butterfingers, Heath bars, and Reese’s cups – and other goodies like cookie dough, cinnamon toast crunch, and banana bread.

Page Dairy Mart is located at 4112 E. Carson St., South Side

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a contributor to the Tribune Review. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected], or on Twitter.

Categories:
Eating & Drinking | Lifestyles | Local | Pittsburgh | South side

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