Both of Strong’s children — her son, David, and daughter, Beth — landed jobs at Flub’s in their teens and loved it so much they saved ball caps and T-shirts emblazoned with the Flub’s name as keepsakes, she said.
“They both loved it and I knew that they were working with wonderful people,” Strong said. “It was a good experience for my children.”
Strong and others told the Journal-News the business grew, flourished and became a community icon thanks to the Connaughtons being “a special family” and the quality of Flub’s products always being top notch.
“I think it’s one of the best ice creams in the world,” Strong said. “You can prove that by the line trying to get near it in the summertime.
“The quality is wonderful and if it wouldn’t be, why would there be so many people there?” she said.
Tom Fritsch who was born and raised in Hamilton, said Mike Connaughton’s foresight in picking a location just across the street from a park that hosts baseball games is one of the factors that helped cement Flub’s as a staple of Hamilton life.
A solid, dedicated work ethic is another, he said.
“Flub — or Mike — was a hard worker and so was his wife, Ann, and Brian … he’s the hardest working kid I’ve ever seen in my life,” Fritsch said. “He’s incredible. You can’t be successful at anything unless you’re willing to work hard at it.”
Brian Connaughton said it’s been “an honor” to take over the business his parents created, grow it and provide “a fun, friendly atmosphere for families to come to not just once a month, but once or twice a week.”
“We’ve got so many loyal customers that … it’s very exhilarating that people think so much of us,” he said.
Opening a second and now a third location is part of fulfilling his father’s legacy, Connaughton said.
“I think it was kind of a dream of his to have multiple stores and just make a living solely on selling ice cream,” he said. “He was also a school teacher and a Realtor and made ends meet with his little ice cream place.
“It was more his hobby and I made it a business,” Connaughton said.