State Closes Popular Ice Cream Stand
The ice cream stand is located in Great Brook Farm, part of which is in Chelmsford and the other in Carlisle.
The state Department of Conservation and Recreation has closed the ice cream shop at Great Brook Farm State Park. Part of Great Brook is in Chelmsford, while the ice cream shop is in the part of the park in Carlisle.
Many Chelmsford residents have been wondering why the shop has been closed since Friday evening.
SJ Port, press secretary for the DCR, said that construction was done at the facility without the proper local or state building permits, possibly impacting public health and safety. No further information was available as of last night.
According to Great Brook Farm's Facebook page, people have been flooding the state with calls and e-mails demanding more of an explanation. The ice cream shop has been at Great Brook for more than 25 years.
Mark Duffy, owner of the Great Brook Farm Ice Cream stand, said he has had a very positive relationship with Gov. Deval Patrick and his administration.
"They've been supportive of this and the industry I’m part of," he said.
Duffy said he didn't want to speculate on the specifics as to why the state closed the shop.
"We are in total compliance with the Carlisle Board of Health and have no outstanding issues with the Board of Health, and I'm not aware that we have any other local issues so I'm not sure where they came up with that information," he said.
Duffy said the state should be the one to tell people why they couldn't have any ice cream this past weekend. Duffy said the shop was shut down Friday night without any warning, and armed state officers patroled the grounds the entire weekend to make sure nobody was eating ice cream.
"They deserve to tell (the citizens) what made them shut us down on a Friday night, park armed officers there the entire weekend, and refuse to allow the public to consume ice cream. The employees did not have a job and (the state) made it so the visitors to this park could not visit that facility," he said.
Duffy said he has confidence the governor's office will do the right thing.
"I appreciate people contacting (the state) and asking the questions they're asking, and expressing feelings. I realize thousands came to the park this weekend and didn’t expect to see armed officers," he said.