Moe Wiley stood proudly with an ice cream sundae in her hands this week in front of a 10-foot-tall picture of film stars Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland looking over her shoulders at the new ice cream Emporium in downtown Ripon.
Garland is seen lovingly kissing Mickey on the cheek as he held back a sheepish grin.
Some 20 teenaged employes dressed in all white shirts and pants and wearing pink bow ties were there too for their training sessions on how to best meet and greet their customers serving up 42 flavors of ice creams.
An occasional merchant would pop in the door to see how the shop was coming and they would leave with a cone or sundae in their hands saying how good the treat tasted.
Moe Wiley and her husband Bob were part of the family team that first opened the Pizza Plus Restaurant years ago that now boasts four restaurants in four counties. For two dozen years she has taught her young employes the importance of treating their customers well with courtesy and smiles.
With a broad smile of her own, she noted that her husband was the chief tester of her new ice cream flavors.
“They are not owed anything,” she said of her staff, “for without their customers coming back they don't have a job,” she stressed.
It’s those customers that return and provide the money for their wages she explained to her young workforce. Moe has also taught them the forgotten ability to count back their customers’ change.
“I have spent my entire adult life teaching young people how to become adults,” she said. “I have basically taught them things they didn't learn at home or at school,” Moe added.
She also noted that cell phones are not allowed in the shop. “We have a bucket by the door for when they come to work the phones go in that bucket and they get them back when the finish and go out the door.”
There are tables inside and out with small vases of pink carnations. The atmosphere is one of the old 50’s ice cream shops that always created an aura of fun and happiness and a cherished place to meet friends. The shop is in the 100 block of West Main Street just two doors from the well patronized Pizza Plus Restaurant.
The location was the former home of the Burgess Bakery. A movie on the Myripon..com video site shows a pair of high school teachers visiting the Emporium.