“I always wanted to own my own business,” recalled Mona Mastalisz when I visited recently.
By the time her Wilma’s Scoop Du Jour ice cream shop opened in Suffield Center in 1995, she had realized that dream twice.
Her first venture was a video rental store launched in 1984. “I was tired of traveling out of town to rent movies, so I thought why not start a store in Suffield,” the entrepreneur said.
For several years after the ice cream shop opened, it shared space with the video store. Rainy days drew video renters while warm sunny days attracted ice cream lovers, offsetting each other’s slow times.
But video technology was costly and changing rapidly. Meanwhile, ice cream sales were booming so Mona liquidated the video store in the late-90s.
The Scoop Du Jour name resulted from a contest. The shop’s outdoor sign simply read Ice Cream when it first opened. Mona and a partner, whom she later bought out, realized that wouldn’t work and ran a naming competition. “Entries included Lickity Split, Cream of the Crop, Cone Zone and Scoop Du Jour,” she said. “We loved Scoop Du Jour and awarded the winner a gift certificate and T-shirt.”
Wilma’s, the other part of the shop name, was concocted from the last name of Mona’s partner, Williams, and her last name, Mastalisz.
Open daily from mid-March through early October, shop hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the summer but vary throughout the season. It sells Hershey’s hard ice cream and soft serve.
During Covid, Mona eliminated inside seating and then chose to retain the additional working space. Patrons now buy ice cream at a service window and sit on an outside patio that accommodates 18.
Mona appreciates her Suffield customers. “I love Suffield’s small-town feeling,” she said.
“Watching my customers – once kids but now grown – visit with their kids, really brings me joy. If I can be part of some kid’s memory, it’s all worth it,” she said.
To help maintain Suffield’s charm, she’s supported Little League and advertised in The Suffield Observer since its inception. z