Between 11 p.m. Oct. 14 and 9 a.m. Oct. 15, the window of M’nM Scoops was damaged. Word quickly spread through both the town and campus. Many of those words carried heavy, even hateful implications. Student employees of the establishment quickly shut down rumors where they could, reassuring the Plymouth that there was no evidence of the damage being intentional and that more than likely it was the result of someone knocking into it accidentally.
Maryann Barnsley, the first “M” in M’nM, had wanted to open an ice cream shop since she was 17 due to the simple truth that just about everyone loves ice cream. “Even during COVID, people couldn’t go out, but they could come for ice cream. Take their two kids and for $20 the whole family has an experience.” She said, “It may sound goofy, but ice cream is supposed to be an experience. Not just taste good. I remember [going for ice cream] growing up, and I bring my kids now. It was always a good time. And that’s why for us customer service is number one.” Barnsley’s establishment feels straight out of a children’s book. The brightly colored walls are covered with posters and mementos of a community well served.
Cold treats have their moments, but we do live in New Hampshire. It gets cold. Some may even say too cold for ice cream. To this, Barnsley would respond with a nice hot soup to clear the palette. “A lot of times, people will sit there by themselves and have some soup, we’ll get into a conversation. They’ll warm up. They’ll go ‘You know what? I want a scoop now.’”, shared Barnsley despite insisting the winters are still lonely without students.
It had never crossed Barnsley’s mind that the shattered glass could be in relation to anything hateful. Though throughout June they did have a number of Pride Flags torn down, the community responded by hanging flags of their own. Barnsley says this strong sense of community is what drew her to Plymouth in the first place.
Having previously worked as enterprise resource planning director for Charles River Laboratories in Massachusetts. She had never heard of Plymouth before a Sunday drive to check out a storefront. “As soon as we pulled into the rotary, we fell in love with the town. I don’t know how to explain that. It’s never happened before” she said.
Barnsley stressed that she does not blame the student body of Plymouth State. “we filed the police report more for insurance [purposes]… There was no rock or something thrown. There’s nothing found on the inside. So it could have easily been an accident.” She drew specific attention to Barn Door Hostel and Campground who stepped in to tape up the cracks and prevent further damage and injuries that might follow, and Pemi Glass Company who had the window boarded up in 45 minutes and replaced in only a few days.
Mn’M Scoops is open for business daily from 11:30 am-9:00 pm at 67 Main St and can be found on Instagram at @mnmscoopsnh. Their “Frequent Licker Card” offers a tenth free single scoop of ice cream for every nine orders. For information on soups call 603-536-4850.