If you live in the Boston area, you’re probably familiar with the local ice cream chain, J.P. Licks. This company recently branched out to the North Shore but has been a regular stop for locals and visitors in the Boston area for years. The iconic shop sells ice cream, yogurt, cakes, pies, and treats as well as coffee and baked goods If you’re planning a birthday party, office event, family reunion, wedding, or other events, the company’s catering service can deliver.
After graduating from college in 1976, Vince Petryk, the founder of J.P. Licks, took a job washing dishes at Hillary’s Homemade Ice Cream. There, he noticed how people bond with ice cream — it’s more than just a treat. It reminds them of their childhood and the love they received from their parents. Based on that, he decided he wanted to sell love in a cone.
A few years later, the first J.P. Licks opened in Jamaica Plains. During its early years, the company developed a reputation for creating a fun-loving atmosphere with lots of funky art school students scooping the ice cream. Now, over three decades later, J.P. Licks has become a local institution with over 15 shops in the Boston area. The company has won over 400 awards including the best flavor of the year, small business of the year, and dozens of others.
The culture of this company is quirky, fun, artsy, and comfortable, and you can feel that when you visit the stores. Everyone from ice cream scoopers to management staff is happy to be at work and eager to take orders and satisfy customers. Of course, pulling everything together and creating a comfortable environment requires the right HVAC equipment. The company needs quality fridges and freezers to safeguard temps and flavors, as well. Recently, JP Licks worked with N.E.T.R. to make these upgrades in one of its new locations.
Mike Cappuccio of N.E.T.R., Inc. has been working with J.P. Licks for the past 15 years as they’ve expanded from 5 locations to 17. In 2019, J.P. Licks purchased an old Orange Leaf Yogurt store in Andover, MA, and needed Mike’s help to upgrade the building to fit their needs.
The Problem: Although the Orange Leaf Yogurt store was designed for frozen treats, the equipment left in the building was ill-suited for their needs. Finding the space for the walk-in cooler/freezer combo they needed was going to be a challenge. The only available space was in the basement, which had a low ceiling riddled with wires and piping that would have to be relocated to fit the new cooler and freezer units.
The building was equipped with a new furnace and an HVAC system that was only a few years old. However, the drop-panel ceiling that hid the large ductwork pipes did not fit J.P. Licks’ open-beam aesthetic and would have to be redone.
The Solution: Mike Cappuccio and his team at N.E.T.R., Inc. designed a solution for installing the freezer in the basement. The team had to reroute the existing piping and wiring in the ceiling to make space for the cooler/freezer combo. They built custom-length panels for both the cooler and the freezer, in addition to customized insulated floor panels to level out the uneven basement floor. N.E.T.R. Inc. also updated the commercial HVAC system for customer and staff comfort.
The next challenge they faced was locating an ideal spot to install the necessary condensers and compressor units for this industrial cooler and freezer combination. N.E.T.R., Inc. was able to install the condenser for the cooler inside the basement. This installation was possible because the condenser would let off a low enough amount of heat during the cooling operation, preventing it from interfering with the cooler’s temperature. It would also provide additional heating for the basement in the winter.
The freezers’ compressors, on the other hand, was a different story. Mike and his team chose to install the units on the roof of the building. Unfortunately, a new roof was being installed during that time. Mike and his team had to coordinate with the roofing company to make the installation happen. The piping was run from the roof down the back of the building and into the basement where it hooked up to the freezer.
Simple thermostats were installed in both the cooler and the freezer, so it would be easy for the owner to set the proper temperatures in both units.
The only equipment that J.P. Licks opted to keep from the original yogurt shop was a Glycol Chiller that was installed out behind the building. This unit is an excellent tool for J.P. Licks’ frozen yogurt sales, even though their primary product is ice cream. They needed this machine to keep their soft-serve yogurt machines cold in the summer.
Lastly, the team tackled the HVAC system. The regulations in the area require that all buildings with potential for crowds of people have a system that regularly replaces the stale interior air with fresh air. This requirement meant that N.E.T.R., Inc. had to install an ERV in the basement to properly circulate the air. ERV units are a great way to bring fresh air into a building. They not only pull in clean air from outside, but they exhaust the stale air from inside the building at the same rate. This process ensures there is a constant cycle of fresh air being pulled into the space.
This install also provided a convenient way to set up exhausts for the bathrooms, and it heated and cooled the air that was being pulled in, as needed. The ERV unit features a heat exchange unit that uses the heat from the air leaving the building to warm the air entering the building during winter and does the opposite during the summer. Because Massachusetts’ winters get so cold, there is also a small electric heater installed in the unit, which additionally heats the incoming air.
N.E.T.R., Inc. replaced the drop-panel ceiling and added exposed ductwork to help unite the look of this new location with the other J.P. Licks stores. It also gave a bonus of giving off an open and welcoming feel to the dining area.
All in all, the challenges that Mike and his N.E.T.R., Inc. team faced with helping J.P. Licks set up their new ice cream and coffee shop were overcome with relative ease. The owner was incredibly pleased with the freezer space, and the walk-in cooler made for an excellent place to store additional product.
Now, thanks to the work of N.E.T.R., Inc., J.P. Licks in Andover, MA is open and ready for business! Customers enjoy delicious sundaes, breakfast sandwiches, or cups of Columbian coffee to start the day off right. The interior of the shop is an open and inviting place to meet friends for a treat, or simply spending time relaxing on the patio and enjoying the summer breeze.
In Need of an Upgrade?
Are you opening a new location for your business and need help? Maybe you need a complete overhaul of an outdated heating and cooling system, or the industrial freezer and commercial cooler in your store require a serious update. If so, contact N.E.T.R., Inc. today and let us help you get your business back in tip-top shape. We have environmentally friendly options that will help to save you money and give your customers the satisfaction of a fresh, modern appearance.