Tyler Angell makes a couple of Cyclone ice cream desserts for a drive-thru customer at Smiley’s in Lisbon as his son Callan, 5, enjoys a shake. Callan, who joins his father at work regularly, holds a tip from a recent customer.

LISBON — Growing up, Tyler Angell pitched in at his parents’ ice cream shops on Main and Sabattus streets. Then he headed off to Maine Maritime Academy after graduating from Leavitt Area High School.

“I had a few good jobs after college,” said Angell, 29. “I worked down in Boston for a while, worked at Country Kitchen Bread, worked at L.L.Bean, worked at UPS — it always brought me back to ice cream.”

Three years ago, he bought his first shop, in Winslow. This spring, he brought it here.

Angell opened Smiley’s Ice Cream Shoppe in April, just feet away from Lisbon’s longtime, iconic, but now closed, Dairy Maid.

When he was growing up, Angell’s parents, Russell and Barbara Jean, owned both Main Street Dairy Treat and BJ’s Dairy Treat.

“I can remember (one year) nobody wanted to work the Fourth of July; I was probably 8 years old,” Angell said. “Me and my father were waiting on customers at Main Street. I did really well on tips — they thought I was cute and little. I’ve been doing it my whole life.”

Advertisement

His parents, who also own Fast Eddie’s Drive-in in Winthrop, recently sold BJ’s to focus on Fast Eddie’s, he said. (They still own the Main Street location.)

When Angell was looking for his first shop, he found Smiley’s, which was for sale after 50-plus years in business. He leased it in 2014 and lost his lease in the fall of 2015, which sent him looking for a new ice cream home.

“I contacted (Janet McGraves) about purchasing Dairy Maid,” he said. “By the time I did, she had already sold it to Domino’s Pizza.”

But a former produce stand next door had a “for lease” sign.

“I knew that (the Dairy Maid) was going to be missed by the community and I took that opportunity to ask Mark (Laroche) if he wanted to turn his produce stand into an ice cream shop, and he did,” Angell said.

He’s signed a five-year lease but hopes to be here much longer. The community has been welcoming. 

Advertisement

“In the spring, I offered a free small soft serve to any youth player in uniform, so I had baseball and softball teams coming in almost everyday,” Angell said. “I think that really helped show my support for the community and their support for me.”

Angell, who lives in Lewiston, has five employees and he’s at the shop most days. He serves 36 flavors of hard serve ice cream handmade using his mother’s recipe, as well as six soft serve flavors.

The top-selling flavor: chocolate chip cookie dough hard serve.

“I like the customer service aspect,” Angell said. “You’re talking to new people everyday and you’ve got your regulars, you check and see how things are with them.”

During downtime, there are spoons, cups and sundae supplies to restock and there’s keeping the small, neat, stainless steel kitchen — and himself — clean.

“The ice cream business can get messy — making the cyclones and the milkshakes in the blender,” he said. “I had a customer come in and say, when I was by here by myself, ‘Man, you’re a mess!’ because I wipe my hands on my shirt. I should get an apron.”

Advertisement

Angell plans to close for the season Oct. 1. In the off-season, he sells Christmas trees and works with a friend who builds houses.

This summer, Callan, his 5-year-old son, has joined him at the shop. Callan’s favorite flavors are vanilla and cotton candy. He’s so far not keen on becoming a third generation ice cream entrepreneur.

“I’m going to be a fighterfighter, a builder and a police. That’s all,” he said.

Told about his comments, Angell laughed.

“I’ll have to talk to him.”

[email protected]

Callan Angell, 5, and his dad, Tyler, stand in front of Smiley’s in Lisbon. Angell has been in and out of the ice cream business since he worked in his parents’ ice cream store as a child.

Comments are not available on this story.