HUDSON — As a child, Alex Mullore enjoyed a frequent treat: ice cream.
"I grew up in Tampa, and my father used to take me to Bo's Ice Cream at least once a week," said Mullore, 42. "And for good grades, ice cream was the reward."
Now, Mullore provides a comparable experience from behind the scenes, as owner of Hudson Beach Ice Cream.
In 2007, after Hudson Beach Ice Cream's original owners put the parlor up for sale, Mullore happened to seek a business — "something fun that I could do with my kids," he said.
When he found Hudson Beach Ice Cream, he said, "this would be perfect. People are happy walking (into an ice cream parlor), and happier walking out."
So, he bought it.
He boasts about its product, which is primarily old-fashioned, homemade ice cream.
"When it's hot and humid, I can't think of a better way to cool off," Mullore said. "It's made for us by a company called Working Cow, a mom-and-pop based in St. Pete."
Working Cow uses locally produced ingredients as much as possible, Mullore said, and makes the ice cream in small batches of custom flavors.
Favorite flavors at Hudson Beach Ice Cream include salted caramel, cappuccino Kahlúa and butter pecan. But the parlor doesn't solely sell the ice cream.
Its staff can turn it into hand-spun shakes, or use it between two cookies of a customer's choice for ice cream sandwiches. There are also sugar-free ice creams, fat-free yogurt, sundaes, Italian ice and hot dogs.
The environment in which it is served makes it unique, Mullore said.
The shop has "a little '50s diner feel to it," he said. "We've got some Elvis and James Dean, a rock 'n' roll theme, old records, collectibles on the wall."
There is a patio, where the shop hosts karaoke at 6 p.m. Sundays, weather permitting, plus waterfront seating on a canal. Some patrons prefer to get a treat to go, to take it to the beach.
"Hudson Beach is known for its sunset," said Mullore. "It's a beautiful experience with ice cream."