Hood’s Frosty Treat celebrating 31 years

Photo by Christy Porter
From left: Paul, Karen, Dee and Jim Hood, two generations of owners at Hood’s Frosty Treat with the original milk shake mixer.

By Christy Porter
Managing Editor

Local tradition, Hood’s Frosty Treat, celebrated 31 years of service to the Licking community on August 28, under the ownership of Paul and Karen Hood. Prior to purchasing the landmark, Paul was very familiar with the operations, having been involved since he was big enough to stand at the counter or flip the hamburgers in the kitchen. He continued to help during school sessions, keeping up with schoolwork, sports and other activities.
Photo by Christy Porter
Jacob and Megan Carver dine at Hood’s Frosty Treat; an 
additional special treat for the kid’s are the prize machines. 
From left: Jacob, A.J., Millie and Addie Carver.
For 31 years he has worked, open to close, on the days the restaurant is open. Family is very important to Paul and his wife, Karen, so while keeping the doors open, to the gratefulness of the community, they have also raised three children, two sons and a daughter. And while taking different directions in life, the kids have been known to help out.
While Paul and Karen are celebrating 31 years, Frosty Treat has been under Hood family ownership since 1967, making it a family-owned and operated business for over 52 years. In 1988, Jim and Dee were ready to retire from the restaurant business and Jim was also retiring from the U.S. Postal Service after 23 years. Thankfully, Paul and Karen were ready to carry on the family tradition. When questioned what his favorite part was, Jim said, “I enjoyed the people.”
Jim and Dee Hood purchased the business from Frank Triplett and successfully operated the business for 21 years before selling it to the younger generation. 
A drawing by Ellen Reynolds on display at the eatery of the original Frosty Treat, built by Frank Triplett in 1951.
Triplett established and built the original Frosty Treat in 1951 at the corner of South Main Street and Old Salem Road, not far from where the business now stands.
While the great burgers and tasty soft serve treats have remained local favorites, along with other menu items, much has also changed in the preceding 68 years.
Initially the business was carry-out only with two windows for order and pick-up. One window was adult size and the other child size. Triplett expanded to include four booths and three small tables.
Jim and Dee shared, “There was no cash register so a fruitcake tin with a lid was used for currency and change was made from a muffin tin.”
For Jim and Dee the hours were long, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. seven days a week, with their two boys helping. Local teenagers were also hired to help, some returning years later as adults. Lunch business was brisk during the Rawlings factories tenure, with employees calling in their orders for lunchtime pick-up. At one time Hood’s Frosty Treat was the only restaurant in town.
Front page news article by 
The Licking News of the 
Hood’s Frosty Treat fire in 1969.
A few years after Jim and Dee purchased the eatery there was a fire that gutted the building and closed it for a few weeks. The Hood’s attended church across the street at the Church of Christ. November 30, 1969, a deep fat fryer that had been turned on to expedite patron service upon opening after church, caught fire. The damage was repaired and business continued.
Paul and Karen began construction of the current building in 1995, opening in September of the same year. The restaurant was moved without loss of a single business day due to lots of help from family. This new building included a first for Licking, a drive thru window.
Many may remember, as do the Hood’s, the nickel ice cream cone. During that same time period, the regular cone was a huge pint of ice cream for 25 cents. Banana splits were 75 cents, although during a rush were not a favorite to create. The senior Hood’s also made ice cream sandwiches. Says Jim, “The cookies were hard, too hard to bite before being sandwiched with ice cream, which softened them.”
Paul and Karen continued to make the delicious milk shakes on the mixer that was original to his parents’ purchase of the business, until two years ago. The original is still on hand and works, it’s good to have a back-up. Tucker’s milk was used for the scrumptious ice cream treats until they went out of business; the treats continue with a different milk supplier.
The morning coffee drinkers may have traded places, but they are still there at the traditional two to three tables, and they still take turns paying. While a cup of coffee has gone from 5 cents in 1967 to 50 cents today, it’s still a great bargain, and a daily opportunity to keep up with town news.
Some menu items have remained the same and others have expanded or changed over the years.
According to the senior Hood’s, frequent orders were the burgers, hot dogs at 15 cents, corndogs, onion rings and the french fries, from potatoes cut on site. They also served homemade soups, beans and cornbread.
“The chili and juicy burgers remain favorites on the menu, made with the same secret recipe,” says Karen. Serving the juicy burger has changed, shared Jim, “Buns were not originally pre-sliced. So we sliced and toasted them in-house, done in such a way that the juicy burger stayed in the bun better.”
The menu has expanded to include mouthwatering, in-house breaded catfish and chicken dinners, cooked using the original cast iron skillet.
The mainstays, however, are the awesome burgers, always made using fresh hamburger and pressed between paper sheets before using a wooden hinged press, which flattens the burger for the grill.
Regular patrons include the local community, visiting family and friends, but also visitors to town. It’s not uncommon to hear, “You’ve got to get a burger from Hood’s (or the Frosty Treat)!”
Hood’s Frosty Treat offers a sizable menu with the hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chilidogs and corn dogs. An additional large variety of sandwiches, soups and salads are offered. Sides include traditional favorites along with other items such as broccoli cheese puffs and fried pickles. Shrimp, hand breaded chicken and catfish baskets make for a full meal as well. Always save room, however, for the soft serve treats—vanilla, chocolate or twist cones, floats, malts, shakes, sundaes and banana splits.
Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the corner of South Main Street and Old Salem Road.



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